Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lessons to keep...

First of all, sorry for the lack of postage recently. Things have been sort of busy, and I just didn't have the time...

Anyway, although Channukka has come and passed, I'd like to share some lessons that Karma Dude pointed out to me. These are lessons that aren't necessarily taught or discussed in classrooms, and yet, they speak volumes and raise interesting questions about today.

We know what the catalyst for the rebellion was. For over two hundred years, the Assyrians had their way with us. By law, any jewish girl about to be married had to spend a night with the Assyrian general beforehand; they weren't playing Parcheesi, if you catch my drift.

Imagine the pain, the shame that these poor girls had to endure, right before what should be one of the happiest days of their lives!

For two hundred years (and change), the Jewish nation accepted this terrible affront to one of the pillars of our way of life, that of marital sanctity. And we accepted it, and went with it.

Then, one very brave daughter of Israel stood up, and did something so daring, it was impossiblr to ignore. She was the daughter of Matisyahu - the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) and a scion of the Hasmonean dynasty - and he couldn't do anything but heed her cry.

What did he do? He stood up, made a public statement: Mi L'Hashem Elai? Who is with me for God? With those words, he stated that he would no longer stand by and watch the spirtual destruction of his Nation, and he invited, he challenged all to join him.

And who joined him?

None, save for his five sons. They recognized what their father was saying, and they answered him, standing with him.

Lesson One: Family. When the going gets tough, and the chips are down, who's at your back? Your family, and most times, they're the only ones.

They started a campaign, a coup d'etat the likes no one has ever, nor will ever see. In the face of many, this small group (aided by others who heard the call and felt the need to take a stand), took on the might of the Assyrian military. With God helping them always, they emerged victorious.

Lesson Two: It wasn't the popular thing to do. When everyone was complacent, or afraid, and would rather not make a ruckus, Mi L'Hashem Elai wasn't much of a rally cry. "Be quiet, you'll only make it worse!" "Don't worry, soon this will all pass..."
No. Sometimes, God is telling us to make a choice. Hishtadlus is a very important aspect of out lives, of our existence as humans. It may be hard, and it may be dangerous, but it must be done. He will lead, but we have to walk...

These are such important lessons!

I don't like to be all gloom and doom, but take a look around. Our status quo? The Orthodox (all denominations) community is but a tiny majority. We cluck our tongues and talk about the so called crisis' - both real and imaginary - but do we do anything about them? "That's for the professionals..." "What can I do? Who am I?" "Oy, it's a shandeh, it's a rachmanus..."

I'm not talking about Kiruv, or shidduchim, or any one specific problem. It applies to every facet of our lives, every minute of the day. We're all aware of various problems in our respective communities, both spiritual and material. What do we do about it? How can we change it?

We're all one family; the chips are down. What are we doing about it?

Mi L'Hashem Elai still isn't a popular rally cry, apparently. But let's face it, at the end of the day, on whose side would you rather be? On the victorious side, the ones who answered "I am."? Or the ones who just laid down and took it?

Think about it, people...

Let's be true warriors...

--Thanks to Karma Dude for the discussion. I love you man.


karma dude said...

I forgot to tell you yesterday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Yehudi01 said...

Yom Huledet Same'ach! Great post, ZT!
Have a great night!
Lech l'Shalom,

jewmaican20 said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes, guys!