web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
05_04_51---Candle_web
5 IDF Dead in Infiltration, Hamas Tries to Steal Dead Bodies
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

What Hashem desires most is that we learn to connect with each other as children in the same family.

Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-032814

A young lady in her early 20’s, “Sarah” was redt to “Shlomie” a boy from her home town who learned in an out-of-town yeshiva. The families know each other well, which in today’s shidduch scene is a big plus – since it was therefore unlikely the kids would “fall in” due to misinformation and misinterpretations.

Kupfer-031414

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I have to do what is right for me – as long as it’s “ halachically kosher” and doesn’t negatively impact on others – and not worry too much about what others think.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that is precisely what almost always happens in situations where a reference knew someone had serious but hidden emotional issues, but did not reveal the information to the person making inquiries.

Time never stood still for anyone – why would I be the exception? In my hubris, I thought that somehow I would live forever – and I suspect we all have secretly felt that way, even though we know it’s a fantasy.

One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.

For quite a few days in late December, Toronto was transformed into a breathtaking – literally and figuratively – frigid winter wonderland, where every twig, leaf, car door, and outdoor wire and cable was totally encased in ice. When the sun shone the landscape was blindingly brilliant as if billions of diamonds had been glued to everything the eye could see.

Outside is a winter-white wonderland replete with dazzling trees, wires, and sidewalks seemingly wrapped in glittery silver foil. It’s quite lovely to look at, which is about all I can do since I’m stuck indoors. Icicle-laden tree branches are bent and hunch-backed by the frozen heaviness of their popsicle-like burden, and the voices squawking from the battery-operated transistor radio I am listening to are warning people not to go out since walkways and roads are extremely slippery, and there is real danger from falling trees.

The necessity of speaking up when you “have a hunch” applies even more when it comes to shidduchim. One little girl did just that – she said something – and I was fortunate enough to be in town for the very joyful, lively wedding that resulted from her speaking up.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: