with Rav Avigdor Miller
The Chanukah Battle
Part I. Deplored by the Deplorables
Chanukah is coming soon and I would like to talk with you about that, about one of the lessons that this yomtiv comes to teach us. But before we proceed, as an introduction to the subject, we have to remind ourselves of a certain incident that happened way back in our history.
Do you remember when Yosef Hatzaddik refused to yield to the wife of Potifar? His master’s wife was always trying to persuade him to do a sin with her but וַיְמָאֵ֓ן – he refused (Vayeishev 39:8). And yet as persistent as Yosef was in saying no, she continued to seduce him – day after day that wicked woman tempted him with her blandishments.
What happened? One day when she came close to him and attempted to persuade him, she finally lost her patience and took hold of his outer garment and attempted to pull it off of him. And so Yosef had no choice but to make a quick escape. וַיַּעֲזֹב בִּגְדוֹ בְּיָדָהּ, He left the garment in her hands, וַיָּנָס וַיֵּצֵא הַחוּצָה, and he fled out into the street (ibid. 39:12).
Dragging the Slave
Now she knew she was in big trouble. Yosef’s coat is in her house and he’s out on the street. The evidence was there and she could be accused of trying to persuade him; she had to do something. So she ran out into the street and began to raise a big howl about how Yosef had made an attempt on her; and she used the garment as evidence that he was preparing to do something. “When I tried to save myself by shouting,” she said, “he became afraid and ran out in the street.” That was her story. “He took off his garment. And when I saw him take off his garments, I began to cry out and then he fled.”
So now this poor innocent woman is standing on the street shouting to everybody, pointing at this dirty fellow who had tried to violate her. The medrash describes what happened next. Potiphar rushed home from work and when she told him the story, all the details about what this wicked Ivri had tried to do, he became full of rage; he seized Yosef and began pummeling him. And after a good beating, he grabbed Yosef by the ear and she grabbed him by the other ear, and they dragged him to the police station, to come before the judges to be sentenced.
I’ll portray the scene for you. She and her husband are dragging Yosef through the streets by his ears. Potiphar was an important official and his servant was well known so this disturbance certainly drew a crowd. Women and children were staring from the windows; the men were rushing out of their houses to the streets to see what was going on.
Spitting and Insults
And our sages tell us that as Yosef was being dragged through the streets, Potiphar and his wife were heaping contumely upon his head. She was shouting accusations, and Potiphar was gnashing his teeth. “Look what we did for him. We elevated him. We made him the majordomo, the manager of our house, and that’s how he tried to pay us back? By acting so lowly?!”
And the Egyptians who witnessed this spectacle, they were looking on and shaking their heads. “Well, that’s what you get for taking him as a slave in your house. What else could you expect from a Hebrew? Only a dirty Ivri could be that wicked and do such an uncivilized thing.” Ivri means a Hebrew but for the Egyptians it meant a hated nation, a corrupt people. And they were kicking Yosef and spitting at him, insulting him as he was being dragged through the street.
The Immoral Moralizers
Now our sages tell us that at that time, as the accusations were being hurled at him, Yosef uttered a certain possuk. It’s really a verse in Tehillim, but our sages attribute it to Yosef; it means that at that time he said this possuk or its equivalent: “חֶרְפַּת נָבָל אַל תְּשִׂימֵנִי – The reproach of low people should not come upon me” (Tehillim 39:9). Yosef was calling out to Hashem, “I beg of You, Hashem! Do not make me the target for ridicule, for calumny, at the hands of immoral people. Why should I be put to shame by such low people?”
After all, the wife of Potifar herself was the lowest of women. She was the one who had proposed this misdeed. And she had done her best to achieve it. וַיְהִי כְּדַבְּרָהּ אֶל יוֹסֵף יוֹם יוֹם, she spoke to him every day (ibid. 39:10). Not only speaking, she changed her outfit every day in the morning and the evening to attract his attention (Yoma 35). And now this low woman is dragging the virtuous Yosef through the streets and shouting, “Look what this Ivri who was brought into our house; look what he tried to do!”
And the Egyptians who joined in heaping calumny on the head of Yosef – who were they? They were shtufei zimah – steeped in immorality. You remember when the parsha of arayos was said in the Torah, it was said with a preface, “Don’t follow the toa’vos Mitzrayim, the abominations of the Egyptians, that you saw in Egypt” (Vayikra 18:3). It means they were the shpitz, the apex of immorality in the ancient world. And so, it was these immoral people, the bottom of the barrel, they were the ones who were shouting accusations of Yosef.
And so Yosef cried out, “Hakodosh Boruch Hu! Please! חֶרְפַּת נָבָל אַל תְּשִׂימֵנִי – Saveme from being rebuked by low people.”
Now we have to be medayek in the language of this possuk. To be insulted is never a pleasant experience. But when someone who himself is guilty of that same crime is accusing you groundlessly for doing that which he himself does, that’s an especial heartache. To get cherpa, to be put to shame, by a naval, a low and wicked man; to be accused of the very sins which that person himself commits, that’s especially hurtful; and Yosef prayed that Hakodosh Boruch Hu should protect him from such accusations.
But we have to know that this possuk is not only for Yosef; it’s a portent for the future as well. As was mentioned here previously, our chachamim tell us that כָּל מָה שֶׁאֵרַע לְיוֹסֵף אֵרַע לְצִיּוֹן – whatever happened to Yosef, happened to the Jewish people too. יוֹסֵף בְּגִימַטְרִיָא צִיּוֹן – Yosef and Tzion are the same in gematriya. That’s a hint, say the sages, that the incidents in Yosef’s career are symbols of what would transpire to Yosef’s people. The ones who are very far from being clean will always call the clean ones “dirty Jews.”
I was once walking on the Bowery. This was about seventy years ago. I was walking on the Bowery and I saw this drunken goy. He could hardly walk. And he was disgusting. A filthy and bad-smelling goy. He saw me and he yelled out, “Dirty Jew.” I couldn’t stand near him, he smelled so bad.
And that’s what Yosef foresaw; that what was happening to him now in the streets of Mitzrayim was going to happen in the streets of Bavel too. It would happen in the streets of Spain and Germany and Syria and America too; it was a model for all of history. “I am a symbol,” said Yosef, “of what’s going to happen to my people.”
Cherpas naval is an important principle throughout history. All the umos ha’olam, the anti-Semites, are always going to think up lies against the Jewish people; but they won’t have to think too much because the things which they themselves do, things which are true as far as they’re concerned, they’re going to take these things and accuse us of them. That is the principle Chazal are teaching us here.
And so when we read the history of our people we shouldn’t be surprised; we should expect that the accusations of the gentiles that are directed against our nation should actually reflect the misdeeds and the crimes of our accusers. It’s a principle that always holds true.
More Pious Than the Pope
When Pope Gregory — the number after his name I don’t recall — wrote to one of the King Louis of France — I also forget the number after his name — that “The Jews commit the most terrible crimes that are too horrid to speak about”, we shouldn’t dismiss such a statement as mere prejudice, which of course it is. We shouldn’t merely discount it as a falsehood, which it is. Instead we must study the statement as a reflection of the accuser!
From the Pope’s accusations we can already deduce something about Pope Gregory and his minions. They were committing unspeakable crimes, too horrible to relate. Not only the nations of Europe, not only the barons, not only men of violence and power, but this statement of the Pope we must take seriously as a description of what the Popes were doing.
Now don’t think for a moment that this is an exaggeration. There is an extensive literature of the misdeeds of the pontiffs of the church. Not only against us; against us there is no end of crimes. The multitude of decrees against us in Christian Europe is common knowledge. But even among themselves they were busy all the time with the worst forms of behavior.
There is extensive literature on this subject only that you can’t get it. It’s very hard to buy these books that speak about the crimes of the church. There’s a powerful organization that sees to it that this literature is not available and therefore to get books, real works that reveal the deeds of the papacy is almost impossible. One historical work I wanted to see when I was writing one of my books but it was very hard to get my hands on. There’s one copy in the public library in the main branch and you can’t take it out. That’s what an organization can accomplish.
And so, while they were accusing our forefathers in Europe of murdering Christians, at the same moment they were busily murdering Jews; and they were busy murdering each other too.
By the way, Martin Luther was no better. Don’t think that the Protestants were any better. Martin Luther was famous for his statements accusing the Jews. Again and again he made pronouncements. We have records because they were official statements. They were publicized and were read in the churches. They were printed and posted on the doors of the cathedrals. Martin Luther wanted the Protestants, the reformers, to know that “the Jews attempt at every opportunity to murder Christians in secret.” Now you know what the tzaddikei umos haolam are. From the accusations they heaped on the innocent Jews, you know already about their tzidkus.
That’s a principle of world history. Don’t think it ended with the Middle Ages. Hitler walked the same beaten path as his Christian predecessors. You know Hitler was one of the main accusers that Jews are murderers. He accused the Jews of attempting to murder Germans while he and his nation – built gas chambers and crematorium.
Farrakhan, the black Hitler, accuses the Jews of every kind of crime against humanity; but he’s the one who’s doing the crimes. In fact, the Jews, in many cases, have dealt with him with silk gloves. They attempted to cover up his sins. I don’t agree with that form of behavior, but that’s what they did. And so while his people are burning down cities, they say that it’s the Jews who are destroying America. It’s their wickedness but they blame us.
And that’s because what happened to Yosef Hatzadik, that’s a model for all the nations of the world. They’re going to accuse us unjustly of all the faults that they themselves have. And because this is going to be the pattern in all the generations Yosef therefore prayed that when such incidents would arise, Hakodosh Boruch Hu should do something to stamp out these accusations.
Yiddish or Italian
But now we’re going to study an ideological aspect of this principle. And we’ll see soon how it relates to what Chanukah wants to teach us. When the nations of the world accuse the people of Yisroel it is very important to keep this principle in mind, that all of the calumnies, all of the accusations, all of the slanders, all the defamations, all the canards, all the lies, that are uttered against our nation are but a reflection of what the defamers themselves are. Because we must realize that the effect of constant accusation is that the accused one weakens after a while and he begins to believe the accusation.
Why is it that the irreligious Jew is ashamed of displaying his Judaism? Why is it that when I was riding in a bus last week, I noticed a Jewish girl and her mother sitting there. The mother attempted to speak something in Yiddish to her daughter, but her daughter said, “Shh!” and looked around to see if anybody noticed that her mother was speaking Yiddish.
Now, her mother was well dressed. Her hair was neatly combed. And sitting right in front of them was an Italian girl and her mother. It was an old Italian woman with frazzled hair, uncombed. And she was rattling off Italian at the top of her voice. And her daughter was sitting and listening respectfully. She wasn’t ashamed; she’s Italian after all. Now, is Italian a more honorable language than Yiddish?
Convinced by The Wicked
And the answer is that after a while the accused becomes so beaten down that he begins to believe that he is inferior. He becomes ashamed. The cherpas naval, the accusations of the nevalim against us, finally penetrate and the weaker Jews become persuaded that we are no good. After all, so many goyim are saying we are no good. And they’ve been saying it for so many years! Maybe there’s something to it. And so the good ones become convinced that the wicked are right – they might not admit it, they might not even know it, but they’ve been duped.
That’s what Yosef Hatzaddik meant when he prayed those words, “חֶרְפַּת נָבָל אַל תְּשִׂימֵנִי”. Not only that Hakodosh Boruch Hu should protect us that we shouldn’t be put to shame at the hand of wicked people who themselves are guilty; but more importantly that we shouldn’t be affected by the accusations. It’s bad enough to be accused by people who are wicked themselves but when we ourselves become dupes of these wicked people, that’s the biggest disgrace of all. That’s the biggest danger of the cherpas naval.
Studying Spiritual Law
But let us go a little more deeply into the subject. Because so far we explained it in a superficial manner only — that over time the accusations of the nations against us penetrate and the weaker Jews become persuaded that we are no good. And while that’s the truth, it’s not enough. We have to realize that things are not as simple as they seem because this world is a spiritual world. In spite of all that we learn of the workings of physical law, we have to understand that this world is subject more than anything else to spiritual laws.
And one of these laws — although very many Jews are entirely unaware of it and even those who learn still don’t understand it properly — one of these laws is that there is a tremendous force that pervades all the affairs of mankind, all the affairs of history, and controls all that transpires in the world.
The Mysterious Force
Do you know what that force is called? It’s called in Hebrew the yetzer hora. Now, the yetzer hora is not imaginary. It’s not a parable or a form of speech; it’s a real force. If you wish you can call it an angel, if that will simplify it for you. But whatever you call it, it’s a force that Hakodosh Boruch Hu put into the world for the purpose of creating tests and ordeals for His people. The yetzer hora makes life worth living. Without the evil inclination, it wouldn’t be worth living because what’s the purpose of existing in this world if not to be tested?
And so what is the source of this lunacy that this Jewish girl with her respectable looking mother was ashamed? The answer is: it’s the yetzer hora. It could only be due to a mysterious force, a force that has caused her to look at Judaism with eyes of reproach, distrust. What else could it be that would accomplish such a seemingly ridiculous thing, a thing that’s so illogical?
The Yeshivish Evolutionist
And therefore you have to know that when Jews become duped by scientists, by evolutionists, they’re actually being fooled by the yetzer hora of cherpas naval. I was once speaking against evolution in a certain yeshiva, so one boy came back the next day and he told me that his father – his father was an old yeshiva man – his father said, “What difference does it make if you come from a fish or if you don’t come from a fish? We still believe that Hashem does everything.”
Isn’t that the most ridiculous thing?! Here’s a Jew, a ben torah, who capitulated to foolishness. Why should evolution seem to him to be no contradiction to the Torah? I know this man – he didn’t come to that conclusion because he studied it. Only because he was weak; he was never prepared to fight this yetzer hora and once there’s such a great number of people who believe in a false ideology, so if you’re a weakling it becomes your ideology too.
The Ethical Scientist
Evolutionists claim they’re speaking the truth; they tell you that you’re following a primitive way of thinking and they are merely searching for the truth wherever it leads them. But actually they are the ones least interested in the truth. Do you know that? I know you don’t think so. You’re not convinced yet because you’ve been duped too.
I’ll convince you immediately that an evolutionist cannot seek truth at all. Do you know why? Because when you seek something you have to have a motivation. That’s a fundamental principle of human character. Nobody does anything without motivation.
Now, what is the motivation of the evolutionists? They want to reject all the teachings about G-d and about creation. They’re not interested in the concept of a Creator because they want to be free to do as they choose. And therefore they had to find some means of explaining the purposefulness, the wonderful wisdom which is evident in all things. And so when the theory of evolution was advanced by Darwin these men seized upon it as their way out, as the solution to their dilemma. Not that the facts caused them to believe in evolution, but the necessity for atheism forced them to seek a theory, to seek arguments in order to support their motivation. The scientific world, the academic world, accepted a theory which was forced upon them by necessity.
But truth? Where does truth come in at all? Where is there anywhere in all the literature of science such a statement that it’s wrong to tell an untruth? Why should it be wrong? If you are descended from a fish which is descended from an algae, why do you have to be truthful? The algae never received any law from Heaven; it never was mekabel any Torah that said it’s wrong to tell a non-truth. So why shouldn’t an evolutionist tell a non-truth? A Catholic might be against lies because he has a religion. A Mohammedan, a Protestant, a Buddhist, maybe – I don’t know if they actually keep their laws but at least they claim certain principles.
But when an evolutionist says that he seeks the truth then you know it’s 100% untrue. He’s seeking something else, but he’s not seeking the truth because he doesn’t feel that there’s any duty to speak the truth. He’s the last one to uphold the principle of truth because truth is only an ethic. That’s all it is. Truth is an ethic. If you have no ethics, if nothing is an absolute concept, if nothing is G-d given; if everything is only the result of taboos and tribal acceptances, customs and practices that developed on the way up from the swamp then what validity does a necessity of truth possess?
Of course these men, the ones least interested in truth, get angry when you cheat on their tests. They say to the student, “You’re deceiving! You’re not being truthful.” So the student should tell him, “Should a frog be true? Should a gorilla be true? Why should I be true?” After all, when it comes to biological behavior he says we’re all frogs and so we can behave like a frog.
They have no principles. Their principles are as artificial and malleable as could be. And so why should they seek truth? And so they don’t. They accuse us of being purveyors of falsehood when they are the biggest liars.
The Great Hoax
Now, it needs time to take it apart. I’ll be happy to do it with you. We should sit one evening and dedicate an entire lecture to this subject, on the falsehoods, the foolishness of the entire theory of evolution. Actually in geology and in biology there is not the slightest evidence to back up any one of their statements. Stripped of the noise and propaganda, the entire evidence of prehistoric times and prehistoric man and of evolution in general is easily demonstrated as a hoax.
And yet today there are even some Orthodox Jews who believe in evolution. Today, even a decent frum Jew, he may have learned a lot, but his neshama is weakened from the cherpas naval of the outside world, “Maybe, maybe, maybe…” It means that these liars have duped us. We’re weakening. When the OU magazine, Jewish Action, publishes an article that says “if the Ramban was here today he would say that it makes no difference to him if Adam Harishon and the apes came from the same ancestor”, that’s the result of cherpas naval.
In the yeshivos and in the beis yaakovs they’re bending too. They’re caving in to the cherpas naval. The menahalim, the roshei yeshiva, have to wake up and begin exercising control over the English departments.
Beating The Cook
Let’s say somebody will come and say, “I know that the cook didn’t salt the meat; she served unsalted meat,” so can the rosh yeshiva say, “Look, it’s not my department. I don’t deal with the kitchen”?!
Now, salting meat is certainly less important than the teaching of evolution – salting the meat is only a d’rabanan. Dam sh’bishlo is only a d’rabanan. And still, people understand if they cook meat in the yeshiva kitchen without salting, there’ll be a scandal. There’ll be an explosion. The rosh yeshiva would run into the dining room with a broom and start giving it to the cook and drive her out – hit her over the head and drive her out.
Beating The Teachers
So he should do the same thing to the English teachers who teach evolution. The tarfus served by teachers in the secular department is much worse than tarfus served in the dining room! And so he should rush into the high school department with a broom and start banging them over the head and throwing them out.
Why isn’t it done? I’m sure they’ll give you reasons but in a very big way it comes from the cherpas naval. It’s a stupid foolishness that’s induced by the yetzer hora. We become convinced that maybe the truth is somewhere there, on the other side.
And therefore the great lesson of this verse cherpas naval al tesimeini is we must not allow ourselves to be influenced by the ideals of the outside world, the cherpa they try to foist upon us. The world is a world of sheker. Their ideals, their attitudes, their dress and speech, their materialism, their universities. Today you see it more and more. Every type of desire, every type of foolishness and wickedness is promulgated until even the good ones are kowtowed into submission. How does such a thing happen? Because the good Jews are duped by the very great pitui hayetzer, the cherpas naval of the outside world.
Rav Miller’s Regents Prep
Now we have to know that in this world there are two important subjects, two great truths that should be uppermost in our minds at all times. The first one of course is Hashem. Bereishis bara Elokim, that’s number one! And because it’s the most important, that’s why the yetzer hora is battling against this truth more than anything else.
The yetzer hora is using all the levers of government to help in the battle against this fundamental Torah truth. He’s funding big universities. Millions of dollars are being dedicated to preaching that man is nothing but an accident, that once upon a time he was nothing but a germ floating in a mud puddle. Every day the presses are publishing new books, big expensive books, and the entire public is being corrupted against the idea of a Borei.
Today, even yeshivah boys when they graduate high school have to answer questions on evolution. They ask me, “What should we do?! To answer the question is like being modeh in avodah zarah. But we have to take the Regents!” I told them, “Answer like this: ‘The books say this and this.’ Don’t say, ‘This and this is the case.’ Write ‘the books say this and this is the case.’” Their books are full of lies. “The lying books say this and this.” That’s how to answer the questions.
All over the world, the opposition to Hakodosh Boruch Hu is tremendous because it’s the most important of all principles; it’s the first theme of the Torah and so the yetzer hora is battling against it day and night.
Another Great Principle
Now, what’s the second most important truth after Hakodosh Boruch Hu? After Bereishis bara Elokim, the most important thing is the Am Yisroel. How do I know it? Just open the chumash. Does the chumash say “Vayidaber Hashem el Patrick laymor” or “Vayidaber Hashem el Murphy laymor”? Never. Hashem only speaks to the Am Yisroel. Hashem doesn’t speak to anybody but the zera Avrohom. The entire chumash, the entire nevi’im, the entire ksuvim are only about the Bnei Yisroel.
Now because this principle of the greatness of a Jew is so paramount in the Torah, so against this truth the world rose up in anger and rebellion. If it’s the case that the Am Yisroel is the most beloved nation, the most perfect, then it’s that truth that the yetzer hora will attempt to attack with all of his forces.
Anti-Semitism in Literature
That’s why throughout history – and these times are not over – the theme of most of the world’s literature was to denigrate, to belittle, to insult the Am Yisroel. We’ve suffered from cherpas naval throughout the ages. Long before the Christians came along, all over the world. If you read Josephus in his book Contra Apion, he enumerates all the ancient anti- Semites of the Greeks. The Greeks wrote books of hatred against the Jews, all kinds of falsehoods and foolish lies. And it had an effect; don’t think it didn’t make its way down to today.
If you happen to own Roget’s Thesaurus; it’s a book of English words and their synonyms, an innocent book that helps you to find a choice of words. A thesaurus is used by everybody who writes. You want to find some other word that you can use instead of this word, so you look in the thesaurus.
I bought a Roget’s Thesaurus about 67 years ago. Inside it said like this. Under the word Jew, it gave you synonyms. You look up the word Jew and you see what the synonyms for Jew is: Deceiver, cheater, rogue, usurer, selfish, avaricious. About five or six adjectives there, all very complimentary to the Jewish people. The opposite too. If you want some other word for cheat; let’s say you want to say, “This man is a cheat,” so you don’t say “he’s a cheat.” Say “he’s a Jew.” Don’t say “he’s a rogue,” say “he’s a Jew.” That’s called a synonym.
Lately, they changed that. Just lately. Because after all it’s too much to say today. You have to show that you’re decent, that you’re democratic. But in my edition it still says that openly.
Today boruch Hashem in America, it’s still in fashion not to speak against Jews. Not because of a special love for Jews. It’s an American tradition that it’s considered obscene to attack any individual people. Even blacks who were slaves not long ago. I shouldn’t say, “even blacks” – blacks surely have gained the greatest consideration today. Halevai Jews should be treated like blacks – we’d be lucky.
But don’t think the congressmen and the senators who speak so politely about the Jewish people have any interest in them. In their hearts, the goyim despise Jews. And when you invite a congressman who will come and say compliments, you can be 100% sure it’s not sincere. When he comes home, it’s, “The damned Jews.” Don’t have any doubts about that. He can’t help it. That’s his mother’s milk and that’s how his children and his grandchildren will continue to speak. Only we hope that Hakodosh Boruch Hu will cause it to continue only in secret, not in public.
The Goyishe Yetzer Hora
Now, why is it against the Jews? There’s nobody else to hate? And the answer is, that they’re being used as a tool by the yetzer hora to fight against the second most important principle of the Torah, the ideal of מִי כְּעַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל. And so, when you pass down the street and somebody says, “Dirty Jew,” you have to know, he doesn’t say, “Dirty black man,” or “Dirty Chinese,” or “Dirty Puerto Rican.” No. Only the Jews are dirty. You know why that is? Because the Jews are the cleanest, the most perfect, the עַם קָדוֹשׁ אַתָּה לַה’ אֱלֹקֶיךְ. You’re a holy nation. And because we’re the chosen ones, that’s why the yetzer hora tries his best!
However, we’re going to let go now of the nations and we’ll follow the footsteps of the yetzer hora. If you look in Mesichta Sukkah you’ll see a remarkable statement. It says there like this: מַנִּיחַ אֶת אוּמוֹת הָעוֹלָם – the yetzer hora goes away from the gentiles, וּמִתְגָּרֶה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל – and he incites the Jews.
It doesn’t mean that goyim don’t have yetzer hora. He’s busy with them too. He always was. The yetzer hora is behind all the skinheads, he’s behind all the white American supremacy groups. He’s behind Jesse Jackson too. He’s busy all the time among the gentiles. But he doesn’t have to worry about them too much – they take care of themselves; they supply their own yetzer hora.
But whatever he’s doing by the gentiles, that’s only a minor part of his efforts. That’s not his success. The yetzer hora forsakes the nations of the world and he says, “My chief efforts are going to be devoted to Yisroel.” The yetzer hora is most active among Jews and his great success is if he can worm his way into Jewish minds to cause them to become anti-Semites.
And I want to tell you – he’s succeeding! He succeeds so well that very many Jews of the weaker kind have yielded to him. And that’s why irreligious Jews become big anti-Semites.
What happened in Crown Heights? Who were the ones who described the blacks in the very best terms? The gentile newspapers? No. Newspapers owned by Jews. When the pogrom in Crown Heights took place, the big Jewish organization didn’t open their mouths – they didn’t say a word. The blacks can do no wrong. Yes, the Jews – who tells them to dress in such a way that they look differently? The blacks can wear all kinds of clothing – but a Jew wants to wear a black hat, he’s blamed for looking differently.
Irreligious Jews have listened to the torrent of anti-Semitism and they’re ashamed of being Jews. Irreligious Jews hate frum Jews because they’re poisoned by anti-Semitism. Well, that’s their funeral; that’s what happens to weaklings.
Yeedle and The Basketball
I was walking in the street some years ago on Ocean Parkway Shabbos before davening and a group of Jewish boys about twenty years old were walking on the street with a basketball and one of them said to me, “Yeedle!”
I was thinking, “What are you?”
Now, no gentile ever accosted me on Ocean Parkway with the word “Yeedle” or “Jew.” I have been walking Ocean Parkway for twelve years – it never happened once that a gentile called me Jew. The only one that accosted me was a Jewish boy. He called me Yeedle.
Now, how did that happen? After all, the ignorant Jew is also condemned and insulted by gentiles. He should feel a certain brotherhood with other Jews. But no matter, the cherpas naval has done its work on the weaklings.
He’s Very Powerful
But we have to realize that it’s a little more painful than that. Because it’s us too! The cherpas naval that Yosef prayed to be protected against, the danger of being duped is a danger for all of us. Even the frummeh are subject to this yetzer hora. And we must not underestimate the power of this yetzer hora because it’s very powerful and everybody is vulnerable to that kind of attitude. We are products of our environment and our environment is anti-Jewish and anti-Torah. And when I say “our” it means even those who are privileged to sit all day in the yeshiva – because we are not able to isolate ourselves from the outside world entirely.
And therefore we have to know that the yetzer hora; as much as he puts efforts upon the gentiles, he’s putting more effort into us, to make us dislike ourselves. Of course, not frum people can react in more not frum ways but still the yetzer hora is מַנִּיחַ אֶת אוּמוֹת הָעוֹלָם וּמִתְגָּרֶה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל – he attacks frum people and makes things difficult for them; they begin to see all good things in the outside world, and inside, by the Am Yisroel, it’s only criticism.
The Uncomfortable Kohen Gadol
And that brings us to the story of Chanukah. Now pay attention. מַאי חֲנֻכָּה – What’s Chanukah? So everybody knows that it was יְוָנִים נִקְבְּצוּ עָלַי – the Greeks came together against us. They tried to oppress us.
But I must explain something to you. The people who made our tefillos, the chachomim who composed our tefillos, they were solicitous with the honor of the Jewish people and so they didn’t make it so open. They let it seem as if goyim came and made all the trouble. But really who were the זֵדִים בְּיַד עוֹסְקֵי תּוֹרָתְךָ? Who were the רְשָׁעִים בְּיַד צַדִּיקִים? I’ll let you in on a secret now; they were Jews. They were our enemies. It wasn’t the Yevanim. The whole story of Chanukah came only from wicked Jews. The story is very different than what you thought.
Here’s what the story was. In those days Egypt was a Greek province and it ruled over Eretz Yisroel; and the Kohen Gadol – his name was Shimon ben Chonya – was responsible for collecting the taxes from the Am Yisroel and paying them to the Egyptian king.
Now to collect taxes, you know, is a very uncomfortable business. You have to come to your fellow Jews and force them to pay. And it wasn’t easy. This one said, “Look, I have no money now; come next week.” This one was never home. This one didn’t give you the full amount.
The Capable Nephew
But the king is waiting and kings don’t take any excuses. And so it’s necessary to be harsh. You have to punish. You have to threaten. You have to fine them. You have to hit them – you have to beat them too. That’s the only way you can collect taxes. But the Kohen Gadol was a weak man; he was a kindhearted man and he was a failure in collecting the taxes.
So the king of Mitzrayim became angry and he said, “If you’re not going to pay the taxes by this-and-this date, I’m going to take all of Eretz Yisroel and I’m going to divide the whole land among the soldiers of my army and they’ll throw you out.”
When people heard that, there was a big tumult. Everybody was excited – a catastrophe chas v’shalom! They started running to the Kohen Gadol, “Why aren’t you doing things? Why don’t you save us?” They didn’t know what to do.
Now Shimon ben Chonya had a nephew called Yosef ben Tuvya. This nephew was not a big tzaddik. He was a politician, not such a frum man. He used to visit Mitzrayim whenever he could. He was enamored with Greek culture and he went all out. Now I won’t tell over the things he did in Mitzrayim but what he did there is not such a big credit to him. But he was close to the Egyptian royal house and so he said to his uncle, the Kohen Gadol, “Let me take care of the taxes for you. Don’t worry – I’ll handle it.”
The Greek Jews
So Yosef ben Tuvya went to the king of Egypt and he said, “Sell me the franchise. Let me buy from you the right to collect taxes. I’m going to give you a sum of money – whatever you ask – and let me collect the taxes for myself.” That’s called farming out the taxes. In those days, they used to do that. The king was happy with the plan so Yosef ben Tuvya went and paid him a big sum of money and now this Misyaven, this wannabe Greek, was the boss of Eretz Yisroel.
Now listen to what happened. During these forty years, he couldn’t collect the taxes by himself, so he raised up administrative offices all over Eretz Yisroel. Tax gatherers, “muchsin” they were called. All over Eretz Yisroel, there were officers appointed by him, men whose job it was to force the people to pay taxes.
But the taxes weren’t the worst of it. These were people like himself. He didn’t pick talmidei chachamim. He picked tough men – not frum; people who were already collapsing under the pressure of cherpas naval, of a Greek culture, an “advanced” culture that made them feel inferior
The Horrid Epiphany
For forty years, this group increased and multiplied. And soon they saw an opportunity to gain even more power because now Eretz Yisroel has fallen into the power of Syria instead of Egypt. At first the king of Syria was a decent man and he allowed the Jews to keep their laws but there came a time when he died and in his place, there arose a desolate and wicked fellow who took over the throne – Antiochus Epiphanes. It’s a Greek word, Epiphanes; it means “the handsome one” – he called himself handsome. The Jews called him Epimanes. Epimanes means a different kind of name, something not so handsome. But whatever his name was he became the king now.
And the Misyavnim saw that he was the man to talk to. A low character and a mischief maker. And most important he was money hungry. So they sent a messenger to him and they told him, “Do you know” they said, “that there’s a great deal of money – millions and millions of shekalim – stored up in the Beis Hamikdash in Yerushalayim. Why shouldn’t you get it?”
The Beis Hamikdash in those days was the center of the nation, and a great deal of money was laid away in the Beis Hamikdash. They didn’t have banks. If a man died, he left over his whole fortune in the hands of the Kohanim. There was also a great deal of money in the Beis Hamikdash that they kept in trust for various heirs and yesomim. Besides, the machtzis hashekel came in every year. From all over the world, Jews sent machtzis hashekel to Yerushalayim.
The Wicked High Priest
And so, these Misyavnim had always wanted to take over the power of the Beis Hamikdash, but the frum Kohanim didn’t let them. They refused. But now the Misyavnim saw their opportunity to take over the administration of the Beis Hamikdash. Now to us it seems queer – the Beis Hamikdash?! What business do these wannabe Syrian-Greeks have with the Beis Hamikdash?
The answer is it meant power and prestige. And by means of that prestige they could bring even more Jews under their influence, more Jews who could be pressured to look down at themselves and imitate the modern culture.
And so they told Antiochus about the wealth in the Beis Hamikdash and he became ambitious to get that money. And so he saw to it that one of the resho’im was appointed Kohen Gadol. Imagine, a rasha of the Misyavnim became the Kohen Gadol.
And now he gave the Misyavnim even more power over the people. They were only a small minority, but still it was a strong powerful minority. They had the Beis Hamikdash; they had the prestige. They had the say; they were the ones that had something to say over the government.
Nightlife in Yerushalayim
And so, a new class of people arose now in the Am Yisroel, Jews who looked down at themselves. They travelled to Egypt, and they were influenced by Syrian Greek ideas, that the Jews are the backwards ones. The Greeks were all over the world now and the Greeks had education. They were scientists and beautiful architects. They made buildings that were a beauty to behold. Wherever you went, you could see the results of the great progress and therefore they fell victims to the Greek culture. That’s what happened at the time. They were infatuated with the Greek ways.
A new era dawned and they started bringing foreign ideas into Eretz Yisroel.The resho’im began taking over. These people, the muchsim of Yosef ben Tuvya’s family and all of his friends and associates became now Misyavnim – Hellenizers – it means people who like the Greek ideas – Greek education, Greek ways, men who like him looked down at themselves; they were impressed with the higher class Egyptians, they liked theaters. Jews never had theaters before. They liked entertainment. They liked nightlife.
You know, when Teddy Kollek was defeated as mayor of Jerusalem, so the ones who sat shivah for him most was the New York Times. The New York Times sat shivah for him, “Ay, ay, ay, what Jerusalem lost!” They were praising him for the good things he did for Yerushalayim. “When he was in power, it started becoming a modern city and there was even a little bit of nightlife already in Yerushalayim,” they said. You hear that praise on him – a little bit of nightlife also was beginning to develop in Yerushalayim and now, nebach, he was defeated. That’s what they want in Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh – nightlife.
And it was the Chashmonaim who said no! That’s what saved us. Not only they said no; they said it with pride. “There’s nothing to look at over there by the Yevanim. Everything good is already by us.”
And so when they came to all the towns and set up altars and called the townspeople to come and they should be present when the first korban to avodah zarah will be offered up. They wanted to make a demonstration in every town that the new culture had won out but there were some who didn’t weaken.
When they came to the town of Mattisyohu, he came to look at what was going on and he saw them getting ready to make a tikroves, an offering to avodah zarah, he understood how far this cherpas naval had reached. Jews were willing to give up everything for the new culture. And so Mattisyohu pulled out his sword from under his coat and he plunged it into the heart of the first man who tried to bring the offering. And then he killed the Greek officer too.
You know what that means? It means you’re looking for trouble, immediate trouble. And so he raised up his hand and said, “If you’re with me, let’s run away; all of us, and we’ll hide from the goyim and our quisling brothers.” So he fled into the mountains, into the caves, and the revolt was on.
The Chanukah Story
What happened then was very sad. When the king heard that, he sent expeditions to pursue them and they were chased into the caves. Thousands of Jews were hiding from the Greeks in order to keep their Torah. Many times, they were in caves and the king made a fire at the mouth of the cave and the smoke strangled all the people inside the cave. Many people died at that time. Blood began to pour like water because they didn’t want to yield to the Greeks.
That’s how the story of Chanukah began. There’s a big story to tell here. It didn’t happen so easily – it happened with nissim and nissim. Finally, finally, Mattisyohu was helped by Hakodosh Boruch Hu and he drove out the Greeks. The Greeks of Syria had a big revolt among themselves finally; they had trouble among themselves. It was all Hashem’s doing to bring succor to those who stood up for Him.
Everybody knows the rest of the story more or less, which I won’t tell you now. But let’s go back now to the beginning and remember it all started with people who were duped into not appreciating the Torah nation; they were duped into looking down at themselves; not because there was anything better there; it was because they were duped. The weaklings were duped by the yetzer hora of cherpas naval.
The Chanukah Miracle
And so, the great lesson of Chanukah is that the people who caused us the greatest trouble were the Misyavnim, those who fell in love with Greek culture because of cherpas naval. And they began to look down on the fellow Jews – they found fault with their own people. They belittled them and criticized them. It was the weak Jews who were duped by the cherpas naval who brought ruin upon our nation.
And it was those who had a backbone, those who appreciated the greatness of the Am Yisroel, who understood that there’s nothing to see over there, those were the ones who brought the salvation. They stood up to all the Potiphars who were heaping calumny on the the “dirty Jew,” “the low Ivri”. And because they disregarded the cherpas naval of the Yevanim and Misyavnim, that’s why Hakodosh Boruch Hu took action for them.
The neis of Chanukah took place because there were some who stood up and said, “No! We’re not going to bend before the cherpas naval of the outside world and the milquetoast Jews who have no backbone. All greatness is by us, all perfection is in Torah living, and we’re going to give up everything for that.” That’s what they did; and that’s why they were zocheh to miraculous victories. And finally after many years, Mattisyohu was able to enter Yerushalayim and they dedicated the Beis Hamikdash and they lit the neiros and the great neis took place the rest of Chanukah.
Activity for Chanukah
And so we come now to one of the important lessons that Chanukah is telling us. On Chanukah we’re expected to grow great in combating the yetzer hora that caused the trouble of Chanukah. It means we have to begin falling in love with the Am Yisroel – that’s what Chanukah is trying to teach us. And if we don’t get busy studying the emes of the Torah, then sooner or later the yetzer hora will win out and we’re going to fall into that error of the ancient Misyavnim.
And don’t think it’s a small error. It’s one of the biggest mistakes, one of the worst sins; you’re coming into conflict with Hakodosh Boruch Hu! He says, מִי כְּעַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל גּוֹי אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ – who is like You, Yisroel, one people in the world. It means nobody compares to us. Us means the frum Jews. The irreligious Jews don’t count; they’re like goyim. But the observant Jews, the shomrei shabbos, the frum communities, all the frum Jews of today, who can compare to them? There’s no way anybody can compare to them. That’s what Hakodosh Boruch Hu is saying and here you come along with the yetzer hora and you don’t know, you’re not so sure.
And so along comes Chanukah and it reminds us that we have to get that idea into our heads. Otherwise you’ll light the candles, you’ll go to parties and you’ll say divrei Torah – very good, excellent; but you’re forgetting about one of the most important purposes of the Yomtiv – you have to appreciate that all the greatness, all the perfection, is found only by the Am Yisroel.
The Holy Textbook
Now the question is – how do you do that? So you have to study; you have to open the right textbook. You know where you’ll find a textbook, a makor, a source, to understand our nation? There’s one place. That’s Shir Hashirim.
A great man, Rabbi Akiva, once declared that Shir Hashirim is kodesh kodoshim. He said (Mishna Yodayim 3:5), “Kol hasefarim kodesh – all the books of the scriptures are holy – v’Shir Hashirim kodesh kadashim – but the Song of Songs is ‘holy of holies.’
Now, that’s hard to understand. Is there anything more holy than the Torah itself? How could Rabbi Akiva say that Shir Hashirim is kodesh kadashim, more holy than any other sefer?
And the answer is: in Shir Hashirim there isn’t one word of criticism against the Am Yisroel. Nothing but praise. The Torah is full of criticism. The Navi, all the sifrei nevuah, are always lambasting us. Criticism is very good. It makes a man better. And that’s why the system of the Torah is to find fault with us; that’s why all the nevi’im found fault with us – because they wanted us to become better.
But along comes Shir Hashirim and what does Hashem say in that sefer? Shir Hashirim, you know, is a poetic presentation; a story of a young man who has a beloved bride and he’s speaking of her virtues, of her beauty and so on. And he calls her, “הַיָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים, the most beautiful of women.”
Alone In Shul
Now who is the young man? Hakodosh Boruch Hu. And the young woman, his bride, is the Am Yisroel, the Jewish nation. And He says, “She’s the most beautiful of all the nations of the world.” That’s what Hashem is saying. יָפָה אַתְּ רַעְיָתִי –“You’re beautiful, my mate.” יָפָה אַתְּ – Only you are beautiful!” At means you. It’s a miut to exclude everybody else. Nobody is beautiful in this world except you. And it’s repeated again and again.
Now most people never bothered to learn it. They hear it once a year maybe in the beis hakeneses and that’s all. When I was a boy, every Friday I went to the synagogue before everybody came. I was alone. The shamash was sitting over there in the front. On Friday afternoon the shamash swept out the shul, cleaned it all up, went home, put on the bigdei Shabbos and then he came back to shul the first one. And he would sit down and sing Shir Hashirim. I wanted to do that too. I was all alone sitting in the back, a little boy; he was all the way up front.I sat there and I did the same as he did. I said the whole Shir Hashirim every Friday afternoon. Shir Hashirim asher leShlomo. Ah! How beautiful the tune is.
I learned to love Shir Hashirim. It’s an experience! You learn to love your people from Shir Hashirim. It’s a wine of love that you’re drinking, that you’re imbibing when you say Shir Hashirim. Isn’t it a pity that your generation grows up without Shir Hashirim? You would learn to love your nation.
The Patriots and The Liberals
Now we begin to understand what Rabbi Akiva said. Kol hasefarim kodesh hem, all the sefarim of Tanach are holy sefarim, but Shir Hashirim kodesh kadashim. It’s holy of holies because Shir Hashirim concentrates on that one point, how much Hashem loves His people. That’s the holiest of holies, the experience of loving your people. You become a patriot, a real patriot, a Torah patriot for your nation.
Now it takes a good deal of loyalty for Jews to hear that, especially today when the Jews in America are so liberal minded and democratic; they’re fair and they don’t want to be selfish and grab the limelight; they want to give other people a chance too. Of course we’re proud to be Jews, but we want to be fair too and not to boast if we’re not warranted to make such statements. And therefore it’s not easy for us to hear such things.
But after all, it’s not what we are saying. We are just listening to the words of the Torah. And this is what Hakodosh Boruch Hu has stated. He loves us because we are the יָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים.
Seeing The Shechina
We are the most decent and charitable people. The Jews have all the good middos. The frum observant Jews are the beautiful ones in the world. There’s nothing like them. No comparison, no comparison! Boruch Hashem! Today, Boruch Hashem, you see tznius, you see mesiras nefesh for Torah and mitzvos. No question about it. Here you have a woman pushing a baby carriage. Her hair is covered. Inside the carriage two babies and alongside the carriage five or six running alongside all together. There’s a kedushah on that. There’s the shechinah on that, and it’s not exaggerating at all. That’s the case. It’s the truth.
I was walking in the street one day here. A little eight year old girl was sitting on the steps with her playmates. She was talking to her playmates. As I passed by, she said, “A bas Yisroel shouldn’t do things like that.” Oooh – I was so proud! A little girl! “A bas Yisroel shouldn’t do things like that,” she said. She didn’t say it for me. That’s the Am Yisroel; that’s the holy nation Hakodosh Boruch Hu loves.
The Least Criminal
There’s no question about it. We are the most perfect, most well-behaved, most decent people, most law-abiding people; The Jews are the least violent people. Pick the nicest street in the finest gentile neighborhood and you think you’ll walk there at night always and nothing will ever happen to you – don’t be too sure. In the finest neighborhood among goyim, you walk at night, even though they don’t recognize you as a Jew, you never know what’s going to be. Goyim, young goyim, are always dangerous – even in the best neighborhood, they always were. Shkotzim, that’s what we used to call them, were always a peril. Even from the finest families, young goyim are a sakanah.
But walk in a Jewish neighborhood, that’s the safest place in the world. That’s the only place where you have really civilized people. The young Jewish boys, you can walk among them and you’re safe because it’s an am kadosh. No goy ever walks through a Jewish neighborhood and is nervous that a yeshiva man or a Jewish accountant will come around the corner and beat him up. The Jews are the least criminal people.
Now this may fall flat on your ears when you hear it the first time so you have to hear it again and again. You have to realize there’s nothing wrong with the words. There’s something wrong with your mind. You have to start retraining your ideas. Whatever you read until now, whatever you heard on the street, in the place of business, is all 100% the result of the yetzer hora.
The yetzer hora is very busy on that front. Let’s say the New York Times; are they speaking in praise of the Orthodox Jews how decent they are, how they all have families, how they don’t have criminals? How they have a good married life. How their children are loyal to their parents. There are so many beautiful things to say. They don’t talk about that. They speak about gays all the time; gays and gays and gays. That’s the only thing they talk about. When do they talk about the Orthodox? When they find something nasty to write.
That’s the yetzer hora of cherpas naval. He is meganeh es Yisroel; that means he tries to put Yisroel to shame and belittle them. And he’s doing it on a very big scale. This frum Jew is a crook and that pious Jew is a cheater and so on.
The Worst Crooks
I was walking in the street one evening coming back from the yeshivah and coming towards me was an elderly Jewish woman speaking Yiddish to her daughter, a big daughter, and she said this loudly as she was passing me, she said in Yiddish, she wasn’t speaking Yiddish the whole time, but she switched for my benefit: Di frummer, means the orthodox ones zeinen di ergste ganovim, are the worst ganovim. And her daughter was listening to her Torah, the Torah of the yetzer hora, that the worst crooks are the orthodox. They’re all crooks. They’re fakers.
Today this mother, this poor victim of the cherpas naval, is sitting somewhere where it’s very hot. This happened 40 years ago – today she’s sitting in Gehinom and she has nachas because her daughter is certainly living by this Torah that her mother taught her – that the Orthodox are the very worst crooks.
Deal with gentiles and find out how honest they are. Not only will they cheat you, but they’ll put your life in danger if you compete with them. One of our people here once by mistake took an order from a big shopping center. Then he discovered he made a very great error because he was a customer of the mafia. He had taken an order from the mafia’s customer so immediately that night they exploded his business. They firebombed his business. One of our people here. That’s the way the gentile reacts.
Black Is Beautiful
Now I know that you people who are listening are not convinced yet because you’re already propagandized by the gentiles plenty. You’re thinking, “What about this?”, “What about that?”, “What about him?” You’re thinking that there are so many exceptions to the rule. You better watch out! You better listen to what I’m telling you tonight. You have to get rid of that prejudice you have against frum Jews.
And so we say to Hakodosh Boruch Hu, אַל תִּרְאֻנִי שֶׁאֲנִי שְׁחַרְחֹרֶת – don’t look at me that I am blackened. We are a little bit scorched by the sun. We are sunburned. Our minds are darkened by the yetzer hora and we don’t believe with all our minds that we are the most beautiful people.
So we say like the bride in Shir Hashirim says, שְׁחוֹרָה אֲנִי וְנָאוָה – “We are black; they are trying to darken our minds, but we know we are beautiful. I am blackened, but I am beautiful.” Not like the blacks say, they’re black and beautiful. They’re very far from beautiful. Very far from beautiful. But the Jewish nation is really a beautiful nation, only that we’ve been blackened by slanderers, by the calumnies of the enemies and sometimes by our own.
Repeat it Again and Again
And therefore we say אַל תִּרְאֻנִי, don’t look at us and see that we are somewhat darkened by sunburn, by the cherpas naval of the nations. We tell Hashem that we are disregarding everything that they say about us and we recognize what you Hashem say, that we are the יָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים. We are the most beautiful people.
And so Chanukah tells us that we have to revive the concept that Shlomo Hamelech taught us in Shir Hashirim. We have to praise frum Jews! We have to talk about the virtues of frum Jews, how charitable they are! They’re giving ma’aser, a tenth of their income! Talk about that! Speak about how Jews are busy raising families, they’re loyal to their children and children are loyal to their parents! How decent frum Jews are! Frum Jews are more decent than any nation in the world! Nobody can approach us!
We possess the summit of civilization! The world has to look up to us for good character, for kindliness, for chastity, for decency. Nobody can even remotely equal to Jewish people. And therefore, we have to speak about that constantly. The yetzer hora is pounding away and he’s enlisting even Orthodox Jews in the campaign against frum Jews; and so our job is to speak constantly to the world, and especially to ourselves. We have to speak the same way Hashem speaks. יָפָה אַתְּ רַעְיָתִי – You, My Beloved, the Am Yisroel, are beautiful. Nobody in the world can compare to you. הַיָּפָה בַּנָּשִׁים – You are the most beautiful of all the women in the world.
The Loyal Survive
Our nation is walking in the right direction. And the time will come when the whole world, יַכִּירוּ וְיֵדְעוּ כָּל יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵבֵל – everybody will recognize the truth and everybody will come bent over to us and they’ll admit the truth. “You were always the best, va’anachnu va’avoseinu chatanu. We were wrong all along.”
Now that’s a very important lesson we have to learn because if we had learned that previously, a great many people would have survived. Otherwise, they go lost. That’s what happened. They got lost. The Misyavnim became Tzedukim. They all became Tzedukim and the Tzedukim all went lost. I read in a gentile book – a gentile said this. At the churban bayis sheini, he said, the Tzedukim all went lost. A gentile wrote that. We never heard about them anymore. Boruch shepatranu!
And it was only the Chashmonaim, the ones who appreciated the perfection of the Am Yisroel and fought off the yetzer hora of cherpas naval, they were the ones who raised up the pride of the Jewish people. They are the ones who brought the light of pride back to our eyes. And that’s why we were zocheh to nissim. Because וְאַתֶּם הַדְּבֵקִים בַּהַשֵּׁם אֱלֹקֵיכֶם – you who are loyal to Hashem, חַיִּים כֻּלְּכֶם הַיּוֹם – you’ll remain forever and ever.
Have A Wonderful Shabbos and a Freilichen Chanuka
Shining A Light on Wickedness
Yosef Hatzadik was reproached by a wicked woman and this was repeated throughout history as the most beautiful nation was constantly and repeatedly vilified. The force of wickedness continually darkens the world with the great untruth of vilifying the righteous. Chanukah is an eight day opportunity to correct that wrong.
Every day of Chanukah I will bli neder make an effort to disconnect from the lies of cherpas naval by speaking about the greatness of the Am Yisroel. I will take a minute or two to reflect on the greatness of our people and share this thought with a family member.