20 December 2016

Then and Now: Religious Freedom For Everybody But Jews

20 Kislev 5777

In our long history, few individuals have threatened the spiritual survival of the Jewish people as did Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who ascended to the Seleucid (Syrian-Greek) throne in 175 BCE. In an effort to solidify his empire and fashion his own everlasting legacy, Antiochus IV worked diligently to hellenize all of the peoples living under his control. However, no nation felt the effects of this effort more than the Jews living in the small province of Judah.
Early on in his tenure, Antiochus, with the help of his personally appointed high priest Jason, had a gymnasium erected in Jerusalem, within direct sight of the Temple. This gymnasium would serve as a center of hellenistic education and athletics, where nudity and immoral behavior was the norm. Pagan statues and altars were present as well; sacrifices were offered to Greek gods prior to the commencement of sporting events.
These changes attracted many Jews, particularly Jewish youth. Many priests were also influenced by this new culture, neglecting their sacrificial duties in favor of these new centers of diversion.
...At approximately the mid-point of his reign, Antiochus intensified his efforts at hellenization. He outlawed such core Jewish practices as sacrifices, Sabbath observance, circumcision, and the study of Torah, at the pain of death. Simultaneously, he introduced pagan activities and worship amongst the Jewish populace.
...What is most compelling here is the fact that paganism has always been a tolerant, inclusive religious system. Polytheism by its very nature accepts the presence of other religious ideas and forces. Upon no other group did Antiochus impose such religious limitations. Clearly, he perceived that most Jews would continue to stubbornly resist any attempts at hellenization. (Source)
On Monday 19 Kislev at noon R”L, participants gathered on the Hebrew University campus to light their Xmas tree. This is the same department, the law school, that refused to accommodate frum students seeking a mechitzah but was fine accommodating Ramadan for Muslims.

The student union of the law school put the word out on Facebook, inviting all to take part in lighting their tree to celebrate the birthday of Yeshu, speaking of a message of “love and peace throughout the world”.
Hebrew University response: “The Hebrew University attaches great importance to a person’s right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion within its walls. Institute an Israeli academic, leads, international and multicultural promotes university values ​​of equality among all religions and allows freedom of action in this area while maintaining public order, University rules and laws of the State of Israel.” (Source)
The reason is always the same. The Truth makes no allowance for The Lies, so The Lies must stamp out the The Truth.