The Temple Institute: Temple Talk: Kislev 23, 5768/December 3, 2007

Believing is Seeing

While the historians sometime refer to it as a "minor holiday," the eight days of Chanuka are, in truth, resplendent with cosmic significance, both for the nation of Israel, and for people the world over. Billed as the struggle between the few against the many, the weak against the mighty, the battle entails nothing less than good versus evil, light versus darkness. Significantly, in the days of the Maccabees the battle was won, that is, Jerusalem was liberated from Greek control, the Holy Temple was purified, and the miracle of the cruse of olive oil for the menora lamps, all took place long before the war between the Jews and the Greeks was concluded.

In fact, the very same war is raging today. Today's oppressors, like the Greeks of old, insist that those who believe in the G-d of Israel and His Torah, have no share either in this world or the next. In those days Jews were forbidden from keeping G-d's commandments such as Shabbat and circumcision. Jewish farmers were compelled to engrave onto the horns of their plow oxen these words: "I have no share in the world to come." Today Jews are told that they must evacuate for eternity major areas of the land of Israel, that they can't build additions to their homes to accommodate their growing families if they happen to live in towns with names such as Beit El, Hebron, Beit Horon, (where the Maccabees achieved a victory over the Greek forces), and Elon Moreh, just to name a few. Today Jews are told that they must say farewell forever to the united city of Jerusalem, never tread again upon the Temple Mount, or walk the winding streets of the ancient City of David. Today Jews are told that two thousand years of prayer and longing to return to their ancestral homeland, the land of Israel, and to live in the land a life of Torah as it can be lived no place else on the face of the earth, was all in vain, a "mistake." In short, the message of the ox horn today is emblazoned upon newspaper headlines, TV screens, the internet, and at every international forum that convenes with great pomp and ceremony: "You believers in the G-d of Israel have no share, not in this world, not in the next."

We are told by our sages that the source of each Chanuka light kindled in homes across the world, is the same source of the light of the golden menora that once graced the Sanctuary of the Holy Temple. Further, we are taught that the source of both these lights is the very light of creation itself. By kindling this light and tapping into its power we gird ourselves anew against the onslaught of the forces of darkness. These bright lights, (thirty six in all), are our swords and our bucklers in this struggle against the vanguards of moral convenience and the armies of the politically correct.

Our sages tell us that by gazing into the Chanuka lights our eyes are healed. The ancient Greeks told us that seeing is believing, if it can't be seen, it isn't there. The message of Torah is unequivocally to the contrary: If you believe in the G-d of Israel, and if you believe that He, in turn, believes in you, in your ability to make a difference, on His behalf in this world, then you will see what the others can't see: the light of creation, the light of truth, the light of Torah.

Click to hear:

Part 1
Part 2