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Chanukah: Light in the Darkness

SHALOM! I write to you from the Holy Land, beautiful Israel, where we, the Jewish people—regular individuals, young and old from various walks of life—are forced to struggle daily merely to survive in our ancestral, divinely-given homeland.

With our faith in His promise, we remain undaunted in our fight. Yet, we are weary and burdened by mourning over the loss of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. We ache for families destroyed and lives ruined by unspeakable injuries and soul-searing traumas.

“I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!” (Psalms 120:7) In all our prayers, we yearn for Shalom—Peace. Israel is forced to wage a war we never sought against an enemy that plays by none of the rules. A cruel, sadistic enemy who stalks, tortures, and torments us at every turn, exulting in our pain.

The events of October 7, 2023, the subsequent war Israel has been forced to wage against the Hamas terror entity in Gaza, and the enormous waves of mass hatred and attacks against Jews, Israel, and anyone willing to show them support, have thrown into sharp focus the central issue that faces not only Jews and the people of Israel but ALL people in every part of the world who cherish faith in the One God and the traditional values of family, law and the dignity of the citizen. This is certainly an issue that those who subscribe to the goals of Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN) well understand and appreciate — and I know you, my dear reader, well understand and feel our pain and anguish here in Israel and that you are with us and support us.

Decades of political lobbying and legacy media manipulation have made it dangerously incorrect to openly discuss this issue. However, when an army of terrorist bully thugs breaches an internationally-recognized boundary and stages a surprise pre-dawn invasion into a neighboring country on one of the holiest religious festivals of that country’s calendar… When these heavily-armed savages break into homes, drag out and shoot parents in front of their small children and babies or vice versa, when they cut up and mutilate their bodies and burn babies in ovens, when they turn loose on revelers out in the open after an all-night festival and indiscriminately mow them down, grab women and brutally rape and kill them, capture elderly men and women, little children and babes in arms and take them off as hostages…

And when, with every savage act, abusing and mutilating their victims, their hands covered in blood, these barbarians scream “Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar”… When the entire world can see all of this faithfully recorded by body cams etc. in real time on the spot… It is no longer possible for any reasonable person with an open mind to deny that the brand of “Islam” which the perpetrators of these crimes espouse is a travesty of faith in the true Creator of the Universe. Theirs is a way of pure evil, diametrically opposed to the values of true civilization.

What is shocking is not only the fact that all those masses demonstrating across the world in support of Hamas are hypnotized to the point that they deny crystal-clear evidence of their criminality. Even more shocking is that top officials as high and supposedly authoritative as the Secretary-General of the United Nations himself also ignore and deny undeniable evidence of war crimes on a horrendous scale by Hamas in collaboration with UNWRA, Red Cross and medical staff in Gaza.

In truth, the abuse of the concept of “Justice” is everywhere, even in the country that was once seen as the beacon of Freedom and Equality, Today it is patently obvious that judges selected along political lines and police beholden to their paymasters are inclined to corrupt justice along political lines, so that despicable crimes of all kinds committed by ”insiders” go unpunished (in this world) while innocent people are today being persecuted, imprisoned and even shot or silenced in other ways because they are unwilling to conform to present-day political correctness.

Israel’s struggle and the struggle of people of faith and the values of Judaeo-Christian Civilization – your struggle – are all one struggle: that God’s Truth shall prevail over Evil and Corruption.

That is why the Lights we kindle on the Eight Nights of Chanukah — the lights you and I will light up in our homes, at our windows or in the focal point of our living space — are so important. Chanukah this year is from the Thursday evening December 7 until Thursday evening-all-day-Friday December 14-15. The lights of Chanukah shine into our souls and into our dear ones and out to all the world that the Light of God’s Truth is invincible and will reign unchallenged in the end.

It is you and I that must light up the lights and spread the light among all whom it is in our power to influence. As base as are our enemies, let us be righteous and joyous in God’s service. This is not only Israel’s war but the war of all just and upright people across the world. Let the lights of Chanukah be our signal to stand upright and radiate the light of Truth always. For “The LORD is my light and my help; whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life, whom should I dread?” (Psalms 27:1)

Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum is a Torah teacher based in Safed Israel & author of translations and commentaries on Bible, Hassidut, Kabbalah, Spiritual Growth, Health & Healing. He is the Director of the Azamra Institute and maintains the website.

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