web analytics
March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Making Sweet Lemonade Out Of Bitter Lemons

Kupfer-120613

Let me begin by congratulating my dear machatunim, Soraya and Jay Nimaroff, on being the recipients of the Community Service Award at the Sderot Hesder Institutions 18th annual anniversary dinner.

As a token of the organization’s appreciation, Jay and Soraya were gifted with a unique Chanukah menorah – rather than being made out of silver or pewter, the menorah was constructed from a Qassam rocket, one of thousands that have rained down on the innocent residents of the town of Sderot.

Tragically and senselessly, the citizens of Sderot have had to live with fear on a daily basis for years, not knowing if that day would bring the death of a friend or loved one, or if they themselves would be the one whose lives were cut short prematurely and violently.

Initially, when I heard that the menorah was made from the steel of a missile, my first reaction was, “What? A gift made out of scrap metal?”

A split second later, however, I was gifted with a bright flash of clarity and insight and realized how incredibly brilliant and uplifting this menorah actually was.  Parts of a weapon created by evil men to wreak havoc had instead been fashioned into a 1,000-year-old symbol of light, hope and the eternity of the Jewish people.

The Chanukah menorah has been an enduring testament to the resilience, faith and tenacity of Klal Yisrael, to their willingness to stand up to and thwart the malicious plots, plans and schemes of their enemies who over the centuries, have tried – and continue to try – to erase them, either through physical decimation or spiritually through forced conversion or open-armed invitation.

The menorah is forever linked with a devout family of priests, the Maccabim, led by their father, Mattityahu, who refused to submit to the will of the Assyrian Greeks who had conquered the land of Israel and wished to Hellenize the vanquished natives: Their agenda was to motivate the Jews – through coercion or cultural attrition – to turn their backs on their own religion and spiritual values and absorb the Greek pagan ones. The Maccabim rallied like-minded Jews and miraculously were able to defeat the mighty Greek forces and oust them from the land.  They then went about the sacred task of cleansing and purifying the Beit HaMikdash and re-lighting the menorah, using a flask of kosher oil that lasted way past its 24-hour “expiration date” for an additional week, the time needed to produce more kosher oil.

Chanukah and its symbol, the menorah, have been a symbol of resistance, defiance and optimism in the face of the overwhelming odds against Jewish survival.

There are documented stories of Jewish heroism in the face of death in the camps, where inmates risked their lives to celebrate Chanukah using rags or hollowed out potatoes to create a makeshift menorahs lit by a single smuggled match. With a lookout to warn if there were any Nazi guards approaching, Jews in the barracks fervently recited the Chanukah blessings over their “candles” – boldly proclaiming that Hashem created miracles for their fathers and would do so for them.

A Chanukah menorah made of a weapon created to kill and mutilate civilians, and demolish homes, schools, businesses and houses of worship will burn brightly in a front window in the Nimeroff home for every passerby to see and glean its message of faith, courage and optimism.  How inspiring!

This menorah of light fashioned out of the darkness of hatred is a classic example of converting “lemons into lemonade.”  Figuratively, this means taking a bad or tragic situation and creating something good or positive out of it.

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 “Making Sweet Lemonade Out Of Bitter Lemons”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Father Gabriel Naddaf with soldiers
It’s Hard to be a Christian Arab in Israel
Latest Sections Stories
Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

book-To-Fill-The-Sky-With-Stars

The connection between what I experienced as a high school teenager and the adult I am today did not come easy to me.

Respler-032715

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

South-Florida-logo

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

When using an extension cord always make sure to use the correct rated extension cord.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

Szold was among the founders and leaders (she served on its executive committee) of Ichud (“Unity”), a political group that campaigned against the creation of an independent, sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.

My friend is a strong and capable Jewish woman, but she acted with a passivity that seemed out of character.

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

First, sit down with your helpers and a pen and paper and break the jobs down into small parts.

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/on-our-own/making-sweet-lemonade-out-of-bitter-lemons/2013/12/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: