Happy Chanukah

The God Factor Part IThe prayer to God we add during the eight days of Chanukah emphasizes the unlikelihood of the Jewish victory: ‘You delivered the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few . . ..’

Chanukah celebrates the victory of the unlikely, the improbable, the virtually impossible. It is the antithesis of the still-prevailing Greek worldview which adulates logic and the laws of nature as absolute. Chanukah proves that in a world run by God, miracles can happen.

Judaism forbids relying on miracles. A Jew must always exert maximum effort according to reason to effect desired results. The Maccabees did not sit back and wait for a miracle to happen. But neither were they cowed by the odds nor discouraged by daunting prospects.

The time has come to wage a spiritual war against our enemies. Every mitzvah is an infinitely more powerful weapon than anything Bin Laden has in his arsenal.

So, when you go to light your Chanukah candles, instead of thinking you are enacting a quaint custom of Jewish tradition, realize that you are fulfilling a mitzvah, and mitzvot are the spiritual antidote to whatever chemicals the bio-terrorists are brewing in their nefarious laboratories. God, who runs the world, expects us to exert maximum effort in doing mitzvot. The victory in this war, as in the Maccabean war we are commemorating, will come from Him.

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