web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

A Generation In Need Of Rededication

Safran-120712

How important are the Chanukah lights to the challenge of our times? Among the laws of Chanukah we find that, “wicks and oils that may not be used on the Shabbat may be used for Chanukah.” Reb Mendel of Kotzl claimed neshamot (ner Hashem nishmat adam) that may resist the beauty and sacredness of Shabbat might be moved by the observance of Chanukah.

Even during the time of the Hasmoneans, when Jews were alienated and removed from Jewish observance, they were moved by Judah Maccabee’s call to join the struggle for Jewish independence, sovereignty and pride.

Another law regarding the lighting of the Chanukah menorah gets closer to the sod of Chanukah observance. If a Jew is unable to light or participate in the lighting of the menorah but merely sees a menorah belonging to someone else, he is permitted to recite two of the blessings recited when kindling the lights – She’asa nissim l’avoteinu (“Who performed miracles for our forefathers”) and Shehecheyanu (the blessing of gratitude for reaching a significant time or season.)

Our gratitude, more than our fear, must define this holiday. Despite the challenges we face, let us take faith from the mighty struggles of our forebears. Let us dedicate the time, resources and energy to bringing our young people back. Let us help them identify with Jewish destiny and history. How? By teaching and learning from them. By listening to them. By showing, through our compassion, sensitivity and care, what it means to truly care for another person rather than an avatar.

Our task is overwhelming but, as Rabbi Tarfon taught, ours is not to complete the task… nor is it to turn away from it. With each simple step, with each modest candle, we will go forward.

We celebrate Chanukah because of the purification of a small can of oil; the triumph of light over darkness. Even after full independence was attained, our festival remained a commemoration of the miracle of lights, not of political supremacy. The purpose of the Hasmonean uprising was not military power; it was light of Torah, mitzvot, commitments, authentic Jewish education, vibrant and dynamic Jewish homes, synagogues and schools.

Only children who learn primary Jewish sources, who study Jewish history, tradition and heritage and who appreciate their ancestors and identify with their language and customs can be expected to be dedicated – even if they merely see the lighted menorah!

The Kedushat Levi concludes that the Talmud’s statement regarding the law of Chanukah, hadlakah osah mitzvah – the actual lighting of the fire is the essence of the mitzvah – has as its ultimate goal to create fire, excitement, enthusiasm and yearning to create light. Jewish education – exciting and creative Jewish education – is the spark to ignite that contagious fire. But study must lead to more than intellectual understanding, or even spiritual insight. Our study must lead to a desire to cleave to our people.

Only light conquers darkness.

It is time we rededicate ourselves to the real purpose of Chanukah. The lights of Chanukah were meant to banish our inner darkness. It is time we emerge from the shadows of the virtual world and illuminate our real world. This year, do your share to let the light in.

About the Author: Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is an educator, author and lecturer. He can be reached at e1948s@aol.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Generation In Need Of Rededication”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
What, me incite terror? Abba: "The Jews must be barred by any means possible."
Ex-Senior Justice Official Asks Homeland Security to Ban Abbas from US
Latest Indepth Stories
Jo-map

As Arabs murder and maim Jews, Jordan’s leaders bark the blood libel of “Israeli aggression.”

bulb

Perhaps attacking a terrorist’s legacy broadly and publicly would dissuade others from terrorism?

Medics evacuate the dead and injured after attack on Har Nof synagogue Tuesday morning.

R’ Aryeh yelled “Run, I’ll fight!” Using a chair against terrorists to buy time so others could flee

Kfar Kana Riots

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

Having a strong community presence at the polls shows our elected officials we care about the issues

Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.

Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.

The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.

Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.

Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliyahu Safran
800px-Israel_Hebron_Cave_of_the_Patriarchs

Racheli Frankel: “I didn’t think they were thrown just anywhere. The tears of Hebron embraced them”

Jonah and the Whale (2012) 23 x 23, bronze relief by Lynda Caspe.

Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

What defines kana’ut these days? Throwing rocks at passing cars on Shabbos? Burning an Israeli flag on Yom Ha’Atzmaut?

One who may leave his wife an agunah is not included in the general rule that we may not imprison on Shabbos.

“Fulfill my requests for good, grant my request, be mindful of us for deliverance and compassion…remember us for a good, long life…give us bread to eat, clothes to wear…”

Too often, as parents and teachers, we think it means talking at our children, delivering to them good and worthy content that they should simply hear and assimilate into their minds and hearts.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-generation-in-need-of-rededication/2012/12/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: