Drishat Shalom, best regards from Israel!
I had an amazing trip.
Besides the usual high points, like Jerusalem and the Western Wall?
I visited some of the fantastic Yeshivas for men and women without extensive Jewish backgrounds.
There are some amazing opportunities to really sink your teeth into Jewish learning.
And there’s one just perfect for you!
I would be glad to give you more info.
Now for my minute!
… Here’s something I like to think about when lighting Chanukah candles.
The ancient Greeks wanted to destroy Judaism. And impose Greek culture on us.
Torah scrolls were burned. Teaching Torah was a capital offense.
And so was the observance of Shabbat and Kosher.
It looked like there was no future for the Jewish People.
But our ancestors went to war. To preserve Judaism.
We won. And started lighting Chanukah candles.
… It’s fascinating.
What was a symbol of Greek culture?
The symbol of the Olympics?
The Olympic Torch.
Picture asking a Greek “political scientist” at the time of Chanukah.
Which will last longer the mighty Olympic Torch? Or the little Chanukah candles of the Jews?
Here’s what he would probably say.
“ Forget the candles. I give the Jewish people another hundred years at best.
They’ll be gone!”
… And what happened?
It wasn’t too long until the Romans defeated the Greeks.
And the Romans continued the Olympic Games until the end of the fourth century.
Then they stopped them.
Not long after that?
The Olympic stadium was destroyed by an earthquake.
No one even knew where it was!
It was finally rediscovered in 1875.
They made a huge ceremony. And relit the Torch.
Here’s what I would have said if I would have been there.
“Mazal Tov on the rekindling of the Olympic Torch.
But did you notice something?
While the Olympic Stadium was buried for close to 1500 years?
The Jews never missed lighting their Chanukah candles”!
… So tonight?
Stand tall when you light the first candle!
Have a great Chanukah,