Chanukah Means Dedication

Dr. Gerhard Falk

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Chanukah Means Dedication

   On the 25th day of the month of Kislev, we celebrate the dedication of the Temple to the service of G’d according to Jewish tradition and the teachings of the rabbis. Of course, the Temple is no more and the ancient rituals once performed there have long ceased to have a meaning for the Jewish people. There are those who say that they want to build yet a third Temple.  The first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. and rebuilt in 516 B.C.E. King Herod then again re-built the Temple in 35 B.C.E. and that  second Temple was then finally destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. At present, the Temple Mount is occupied by a Moslem shrine called the Dome of the Rock which was built in 687 C.E.

    It may be debatable whether we want to again perform animal sacrifices if a third Temple is ever built there.  It may even be debatable whether or not it is in our interest as Jews to build or help build such a Temple. It is however vital for Jewish survival that we continue to hold and have access to the Temple Mount, which is the most sacred place in Judaism. Unfortunately, the current Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, and his mentor, Shimon Peres, feel no obligation to keep the Temple Mount in Jewish hands.  On the contrary.  Consistent with the practices of the European ghetto Jews, Barak is willing to hand Arafat and his terrorists anything the terrorists want, including the Old City of Jerusalem from which all Jews were excluded when it was in Arab hands until 1948.  Therefore we must dedicate ourselves to the preservation of Jerusalem as a Jewish city and do all we can to defeat Barak and his policies. Barak, in no sense dedicated to the security of Israel,  is willing to hand the terrorists the Jordan Valley, which will make it possible for Iraq and all the other Arab states to invade Israel from the east. Therefore we must dedicate ourselves to the security and preservation of Israel by defeating Barak, a man who has learned nothing from history or from current events.

   In 1938 the Germans under Hitler signed an agreement with England to give Germany a part of Czechoslovakia  if the Nazi dictator would thereafter keep the peace. Hitler of course had no intention of keeping the peace. Shortly after he signed that piece of paper, the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia and then Poland and then Russia and so on. Likewise, Arafat signed agreements for seven years but kept none of them. Not only did Israel not get peace for all the land and weapons former Prime Minister Peres has handed  them, but instead the Arabs attacked and continue to attack Jews everywhere, shooting, killing and murdering any Jew they can find.

   We must therefore dedicate ourselves to preventing the destruction of Israel for temporary political advantages by a small clique of politicians who are willing to destroy the only land we Jews ever had. It is of course certain that any agreement signed by Arafat is worthless and that as soon as Israel hands over yet more land, the Arabs will demand more and more until there is nothing left.

   Today, December 22, 2000, it was announced that Barak intends to reduce Israel to the boundaries of June 1967, a line which Abba Eban has called the Auschwitz line.

    We must dedicate ourselves to the defeat of that policy by writing, protesting and demanding that this not be done. Barak is another Chamberlain. He is driving Israel to the brink of disaster. We must dedicate ourselves to the preservation of Israel and join the United Synagogue and other organizations in this country to end this madness.

    There have always been those Jews who bowed to any enemy, afraid to stand up for our rights and our lives. Peres and Barak are not the first to believe that Jews must crawl in the back door and never resist lest “things get worse”. How much worse can it get?

    To give us some strength, some sense of purpose, read again the story of Chanuka. We know about the fight of the Maccabees from the work of Josephus Flavius, a Jewish apostate and the Benedict Arnold of his time. Appointed to command Jewish forces in their fight against the Roman invaders in Galilee, i.e. northern Israel, he betrayed his country, and for personal advantage surrendered to the Romans without a fight in 67 C.E. Thereafter, Josephus Flavius (his Latin name) accompanied the armies of Vespasian and his son Titus to the destruction of Jerusalem. He advised the Roman enemy how to destroy the city and then wrote two works called The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities.

In volume 12 of Jewish Antiquities Josephus Flavius discusses the first Chanukah, which occurred in 165 B.C.E.

    Unlike Barak and Peres of our own day, Judah the Maccabee and his followers refused to surrender to the demands of the Syrians and won. Unlike the frightened “peaceniks” of today, the Maccabees stood up for the right of Jews to live in their own country and to defend their lives. Unlike the “liberal” establishment in Israel and the U.S. who know only surrender to all and any Arab demands, the Maccabees would not surrender because they believed, as do the majority of Jews today, that we too have the right to self determination just like any Arab.

   If Chanukah means anything, then it means that it is the festival of freedom. For centuries we Jews prayed “next year in Jerusalem.” Now Barak wants to throw it all away. Utterly devoid of the most elementary understanding of Jewish history, we see once more the spirit of the European Judenrat who has no appreciation of the hopes and needs of the Jewish people. Therefore we must protest loudly and vehemently at this near betrayal of all our accomplishments and all our achievements  and all the blood and deaths suffered by Jewish defenders of Israel before it is too late and we witness another Shoah caused by Jewish stupidity and private ambition.

Shalom u’vracha.


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