08 June 2017

Light the Menorah - It's Hanukah!

15 Sivan 5777
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Beha'alotcha
The Menorah
The commentators discuss why this passage regarding the Menorah is placed immediately after the long recitation of the offerings of the tribal leaders. Citing Midrash Tanchuma, Rashi comments that Aaron was chagrined that every tribe, represented by its leader, had a role in dedicating the new Tabernacle, while he and his tribe of Levi were excluded. Consequently, God comforted him by saying that his service was greater than theirs because he would prepare and kindle the Menorah.
Ramban explains why the Menorah was singled out for this consolation instead of other more auspicious rituals, such as the Yom Kippur service, which must be performed exclusively by the Kohen Gadol. He explains. based in part on Tanchuma, that the kindling in this passage alludes to a later Menorah, that of the miracle of Chanukah. God was alluding to Aaron that his role was greater than that of the other leaders, because there would be a time when the Temple service would be discontinued by the Syrian-Greeks and the Torah would be on the verge of being forgotten. Only the faith and heroism of the Hasmoneans, a family of Aaron's priestly descendants, would succeed in driving out the enemy, purifying the Temple, and once more kindling the Menorah, after a tragic hiatus of many years. Thus God comforted Aaron by telling him that his family would one day save the nation. The offerings of the tribal leaders were great and impressive, but they were temporary. Aaron's contribution would be eternal. (Commentary on the Chumash)
As is the battle with the "Greeks" - eternal...

The Greeks became the Romans and the Romans became the Christians who are with us until this day. And all of them ever had only one goal vis a vis the Jews - assimilate or die. And there have always been those from within our own camp who were ready and eager to assist them. In the time of the Hasmoneans, it was the Hellenists. Today, that same phenomenon is alive and well, going by the name of Judeo-Christianity and thriving under the banner of "Zionism".

Ari Abramowitz: "What is it really that connects us all [Jews and Christians]? It's that we're Biblical Zionists!"

"Today's Zionism is not what it used to be. Today Zionism is Universal Judaism working towards a Jewish Redemption,...." (Soul Mazal blog)

Jeremy Gimpel: Jews and Christians can set aside their theological differences and unite under the "ideology" of "Biblical Zionism".

The answer to this now is the same as it was in 164 bce and in every generation since the Maccabim. What can man do to us? We fear only God above. And we will fight for the integrity of our Holy Torah which is symbolized by the light of the Temple Menorah.


Rabbi Mordechai Sitorsky

Parashat Be'halot'cha: The Fusion of Chanukah and Pesach Sheni