28 December 2005

Chanukah for Such a Time as This

We celebrate Chanukah to remember a time when HaShem gave us strength to declare victory over our enemies and once again performed a holy miracle in our midst. For anyone who thinks Chanukah is just a history lesson wrapped in a holiday, think again: we're still surrounded by our enemies, and have no one but HaShem to turn to for salvation.

Shteinitz: Egypt is Preparing for Possible War with Israel [Israel National News]

"MK Yuval Shteinitz (Likud) says that Egypt’s arms buildup over the past few years has focused on the possibility of future war with Israel."

Terrorists in Lebanon Bombard Northern Israel[Israel National News]

"IDF Northern Commander Gen. Udi Adam said that Israel should not respond "wildly" to the rocket attacks on civilians. "There is no need for winds of war,' he said. 'Lebanon understands that if it does not deal with the rockets, we will do it.'"

Terrorists Vow More Attacks as IDF Mulls Response to Rockets [Israel National News]

"Prime Minister Ariel Sharon instructed Israeli Defense brass Sunday to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent Kassam rockets from being launched into Israel. Steps may include monitoring Gaza from the air and sea, as well as establishing a 1.5 mile restricted security zone along the northern and eastern Gaza borders."

Mossad Chief Warns Against Growing Iranian Threat [Israel National News]

"[Mossad Intelligence Chief Meir]Dagan stated that the international community must increase its opposition to ongoing Iranian efforts, stating in a matter of months, it will be too late."

This is the time and the season for miracles, because if HaShem does not act on our behalf now, no one will be left.

And yet, New Outposts Update [Israel National News]

"Nineteen new locations throughout Judea and Samaria - and Kisufim - are the sites of Land of Israel construction and pioneer spirit, as of this Chanukah. Soldiers are guarding the new sites."

These are physical mitzvot that exemplify what we need to be doing spiritually. As individuals and as the nation of Israel, we need to reclaim the land, reclaim the Temple Mount, reclaim our identity as ISRAEL in our hearts and souls. Until we do this, until we do teshuva in our hearts and repent to HaShem for not being a light unto the nations and foregoing our identity and our role in this world-- to be a witness to the nations of the glory and truth of HaShem-- we cannot expect to claim victory over our physical enemies.

Our spiritual teshuva can only begin through the reclamation of our special, personal relationship with HaShem. Torah states that we are to love HaShem with all of our heart, soul, and strength, that His commandments are to be engraved on our doorposts, but first and foremost, they are to be upon our hearts. How can we expect to succeed as a nation, as a people, as individuals if we do not have that intimate love for HaShem ingrained into our very being? As King Shlomo states, "You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet." King David was annointed king because he was a man after HaShem's own heart. Before HaShem gave David victory over Israel's enemies, David had to prove himself to be a worthy leader in the eyes of Adonai. David's worthiness was defined through his love for HaShem, and his desire to have a personal relationship with Him.

Only when we rekindle the light of our love for HaShem in our own hearts can we hope to once again live securely in that city on a hill that cannot be hidden, and truly be a light unto the world.

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