web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
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.



Chanukah – Fighting Spiritual Cancer

        This past week I took time out from my daily activities to have a medical checkup – something I highly recommend. I know too many people who only go to a doctor when they don’t feel well, or if something seems out of sorts, but never when they actually feel fine, the excuse being that they don’t have time for a checkup, or can’t fit in a mammogram or a colonoscopy, or a blood test etc. into their busy schedules. They are overwhelmed at work, and their “free” time  is saturated with “must do” activities – their chesed project or babysitting grandchildren or taking elderly parents to their appointments. They just don’t have the time, they claim.

 

         The incredible irony here is that making time for medical tests may actually give them more time.

 

         I have friends whose lives were extended because they did go for their pap-smears, mammograms, blood pressure monitoring, and they did have that “little cough” checked, etc. They are alive and well. Tragically, I know others who ignored the tiny lump or bump or stomach ache – “it’s nothing, it will go away by itself” – and tragically weren’t around to dance at their children’s weddings.

 

         When I saw my doctor I asked him to look at a little bulge near the crease of my left arm. I really didn’t think it was anything serious- but wanted him to confirm that. And B”H he did: Just a fat pad under the surface of the skin – something quite common. I was, of course, relieved by his diagnosis (but also a bit annoyed since I weight lift on a regular basis – but I’m not complaining). At least it wasn’t something truly ominous. Like cancer. Which brings me to Chanukah.

 

         “Cancer and Chanukah,” you ask, “what’s the connection?” In both situations you have normal versus abnormal. When you look at the Chanukah story, it’s about “normal” Jews who, due to their exposure to a toxic spiritual environment became “abnormal Jews” – they assimilated and no longer behaved as Jews. Their spiritual DNA – their souls – became mutated.  And no content to live and let live, they tried to force their views on the still “normal” Torah Jews and have them become like them – abnormal entities no longer recognizable as Yidden.

 

         Such is the case with cancer. Cancer is not something you catch, like the measles or the flu, rather cancer used to be ordinary, regular cells, e.g. lung cells – that are altered due to toxins or pollution or genetics or viruses that attack its core – its DNA – and they no longer act like normal cells. These now-abnormal cells do not stay put but spread and take over the normal ones.

 

         To get rid of them, a surgeon will take a scalpel and cut them out. So too, Mattityahu, and his team of Maccabeen “surgeons” took up their swords and removed from their midst the spiritual tumor that threatened their existence.

 

         But as is the case in many situations where there is cancer, radiation is utilized to finish the job.

 

         So too the threat of the cancerous, assimilated Jews and their Greek supporters was removed by the radiation emanating from the Torah – in the form of the dazzling lights of the menorah that illuminated the Holy Temple for eight days.

 

         Sadly, in the 21st century, Jews of all backgrounds and hashkafas are threatened by both physical and spiritual malignancies brought on by exposure to a noxious cultural environment. It behooves us to do what we can to fortify ourselves from this life-threatening hazard.

 

         On the physical level, we must do what we can to strengthen ourselves. That means not smoking – ever; getting enough exercise and rest – as there are a lot of sleep-deprived children and adults out there who are at risk because of weakened immune systems or because they are not alert and paying attention; eating nutritious food – in normal amounts – not overindulging and definitely not starving oneself; getting timely check-ups and tests; reaching out to others who are professionally able to help you if you need help; in turn, helping others in a capacity you feel comfortable with – if it’s simply packaging food for Tomchei Shabbos or preparing a meal for a woman who has just given birth; and most importantly being vigilant and aware  of your physical and emotional needs and addressing them in a timely and appropriate manner.

 

         On a spiritual level, you can fortify yourself and your family against the cancer of assimilation by being connected to a community via a shul or chesed organizations; ensuring a Jewish education for your children and your neighbors’; filling your household with warmth and an unconditional love in which all family members – wife, husband, children – are included; letting your children see that you practice what you preach; and giving them a love of Yiddishkeit and such a strong sense of their rich culture that they will develop a strong immunity and resistance against an enticing but perilous environment outside your home.

 

         May the glowing lights of Chanukah radiate your lives with good health and good deeds. A freiliche Chanukah!

About the Author:


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 “Chanukah – Fighting Spiritual Cancer”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ferguson, Missouri: rioting against racism, encouraging murder
The Foul Stench of the Ferguson Fallout
Latest Sections Stories
Rabbi Maurice Lamm

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Schonfeld-logo1

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Kupfer-092614-Books

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

It is so hurtful to heighten people’s sense of inadequacy and guilt in a matzav that is already horrendous and difficult to bear.

Make no mistake: in the wrong hands cars are weapons of mass destruction.

Where once divorce in heimische communities was relatively uncommon, nowadays every family has a son, daughter, sibling cousin who is divorced – sometimes twice or even three times!

Many go about the business of living frum, observant lives, but they are only going through the motions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/chanukah-fighting-spiritual-cancer/2006/12/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: