What better time could there be to get back to the Torah Minute?
After all, Torah is what Chanukah is all about.
… We’ve all heard the story.
The Greeks tried to destroy Judaism. And impose Greek culture on the Jews.
Torah scrolls were burned. And Torah study became a capital offense.
Observance of Shabbat and Kosher were outlawed. And so was circumcision.
Finally the Jews rebelled. They took on the mighty Greek army. And won.
Judaism was saved!
It is not true that the Jews revolted!
(You’re probably thinking that Rabbi Katz has been away for too long. Has gotten a little
rusty. And can’t even get the Chanukah story straight!
Because everyone knows that the Jews did revolt!)
… I might be rusty. But this I did get right!
Because what really happened on Chanukah?
Some of the Jews revolted!
But many did not!
Many Jews didn’t think the decrees were all that bad.
They were called Hellenists.
They felt that exchanging Judaism for Greek culture was a good deal!
And they saw acceptance into Greek society as the Jewish future.
After all, Greece was the center of civilization at the time.
The Hellenists were usually the “more sophisticated” Jews.
And they looked down at the “old fashioned” Jews who wouldn’t give up their Judaism.
“Get a life. Get with the program. This is the second century B.C.E.!”
… It’s something to think about on Chanukah.
We all have something in common. And so does every person who identifies as a Jew.
No matter what they call themselves. And no matter what kind of Synagogue they go to.
(Or don’t go to!)
When it came to Chanukah?
Our grandparents were the ones who fought. Who wouldn’t give up their Judaism.
How do I know?
Because the Hellenists didn’t survive. Their descendants were lost as Jews.
… We owe it to our grandparents to make Chanukah meaningful.
A great way to do it?
Please join us and celebrate at the CTN Chanukah party.
Hope to see you.
All the best,