Share this page … TweetView full post
Welcome to the Shomron. The video link below provides insight into life in this beautiful Moshav. David HaIvri and others explain the historical significance of the Shomron and information on life in this moshav. Personal stories are lovingly told to bring people some awareness about the life in Israel that is more than dealing with …View full post
Dear Israel, I just want to let you know , that you are not alone during this most hard and difficult time that is Yom HaZikaron . Many of your beloved brethern have fallen. Yet, they have fallen because they do believe in life. They, despite the baseless and virulent hatred Israel has endured since ancient times, choose …View full post
Parashat Yitro: And now for another type of Kiddush HaShem (Sanctification of God’s Name) by Daniel Pinner When God repeatedly sent Moshe to Pharaoh with the demand, “Send forth My nation” (Exodus 5:1, 7:16, 7:21, 9:1, 9:13), this demand was invariably in the Name of HaShem, the God of Israel or the God of the …View full post
This is a true story – but you probably won’t believe it ! Jerry came to Israel on business every few months. On that day in August 2001 he had a busy day planned ahead. He was on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, in the center of town, and was looking for …View full post
Parashat Mikkeitz & Chanukah: Enlightenment by Daniel Pinner In more than ninety percent of years, Parashat Mikkeitz coincides with Chanukah; the last time it did not was in 5761 (2000), and the next time will be in 5681 (2020). Is this merely coincidence, or is there a common theme which links Parashat …View full post
“If the Arabs put down their arms first, there will be peace. If the Israelis put down their arms first, there will be no Israel.” -Quote from Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu The world-wide terrorist sympathizing governments and those that sponsor them are at the root of most of the terrorism in the world …View full post
In this short video hear a number of Israeli soldiers at the 2011 Friends of the IDF gala at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC speak about their service in Israel’s army. Hear first hand at the real, human side of Israel via those who proudly serve their nation as Soldiers of Israel. Listen …View full post
תְּהִלִּים מַה-יָּקָר חַסְדְּךָ, אֱלֹהִים: וּבְנֵי אָדָם–בְּצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ, יֶחֱסָיוּן Psalm 36:8 How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God! and the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings Jeremiah 31: 2 ב מֵרָחוֹק, יְהוָה נִרְאָה לִי; וְאַהֲבַת עוֹלָם אֲהַבְתִּיךְ, עַל-כֵּן מְשַׁכְתִּיךְ חָסֶד. ‘From afar the LORD appeared unto me.’ ‘Yea, I have loved …View full post
Permanent link to this article: http://jewishmiracles.insightonthenews.net/?p=2943
Thank God for you Israel .
Be only blessed and made great in all your ways.
I know God is with you
Just keep true to The God of Your Forefathers
In loyal , humble and loving service to Him
In prayer of gratitude ,
Yours in God,
Edward Francisco Villa
Jewish Miracles Blog
Permanent link to this article: http://jewishmiracles.insightonthenews.net/?p=2731
Welcome to the Shomron. The video link below provides insight into life in this beautiful Moshav. David HaIvri and others explain the historical significance of the Shomron and information on life in this moshav. Personal stories are lovingly told to bring people some awareness about the life in Israel that is more than dealing with conflict. Life in Israel is about the land , the people and most imortantly it is about love of Hashem. Please watch and enjoy
Permanent link to this article: http://jewishmiracles.insightonthenews.net/?p=2597
I just want to let you know , that you are not alone during this most hard and difficult time that is
Yom HaZikaron .
Many of your beloved brethern have fallen. Yet, they have fallen because they do believe in life. They, despite the baseless and virulent hatred Israel has endured since ancient times, choose to fight.
They fought for life.
Although they are no longer physically with us today, their eternal and enduring spirit and soul continue to persist amongst all of us thru memory, even thru true dreams. Forever will they live within those that pick up the uniform of the fallen and dawn on the uniform of the living .
May we all with gratitiude, grant honor to the sons and daughters of Isarel who fell in love and who do still love us from heaven above with The Holy One of Ya’akov .
Let us embarce all of Israel’s fallen this Yom Hazikaron, by living and preforming the following words of King David’s Psalm 133
” Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard; even Aaron’s beard, that cometh down upon the collar of his garments;
Like the dew of Hermon, that cometh down upon the mountains of Zion;
for there the LORD commanded the blessing,
even life for ever . ”
In prayer thru deed in light of honor for the fallen, let us diligently persue the true and righteous path and real destiny laid out before and entrusted to Israel .
Although we live in the shadows of our true pain and incompleteness left by the departure of our loved ones from this world this day, let us live the words of King David above, and chose to move on foward with resolve and justice for those that require and deserve of it .
Eternally in our hearts and where before HaShem do the fallen of Israel stand, they will forever be embraced by a loving and Eternal Father – The Eternal One of Israel .
I send a warm, yet tight embrace to all of The People of Israel during this most solemn, melancholy and trying of times.
You have someone here that prays for you .
Someone that believes in you .
God bless, strengthen and encourage you forever and always … Israel .
Edward F. Villa
Permanent link to this article: http://jewishmiracles.insightonthenews.net/?p=2580
Parashat Yitro: And now for another type of Kiddush HaShem (Sanctification of God’s Name) by Daniel Pinner
When God repeatedly sent Moshe to Pharaoh with the demand, “Send forth My nation” (Exodus 5:1, 7:16, 7:21, 9:1, 9:13), this demand was invariably in the Name of HaShem, the God of Israel or the God of the Hebrews. The reason is simple and obvious: the purpose of the Exodus was not merely to redeem a nation from slavery. Its deeper purpose was Kiddush HaShem, sanctifying the Name of HaShem.
For this reason, too, Pharaoh had to be forced into acknowledging HaShem. It would not have been sufficient for him to release the Jews from Egypt simply out of fear of yet another plague; this was why, after each plague, God “strengthened Pharaoh’s heart”, as He had told Moshe in advance that He would (Exodus 4:21, 7:13, 9:12, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10). The standard English translation – that God “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” – is inaccurate and misleading: God did not “harden” Pharaoh’s heart deliberately making him crueller; He “strengthened” Pharaoh’s heart, giving him the inner strength to make his own decisions without being terrorised into freeing the Israelites by the plagues.
Ultimately, the Ten Plagues and the Splitting of the Red Sea forced Pharaoh and Egypt to acknowledge HaShem, God of the Hebrews, as the Supreme Power. God told Moshe: “I will be glorified through Pharaoh and through all his army, and Egypt shall know that I am HaShem” (Exodus 14:4), on which the Midrash comments: “This teaches that when HaShem exacts punishment from the nations, His Name becomes great in the world” (Tanhuma, Beshallach 7).
An almost-contemporary commentator points out that when God had said “I will be glorified through Pharaoh and through all his army, and Egypt shall know that I am HaShem”, He said this in the region of Pithom and Raamses, two cities on Egypt’s eastern border, which the Egyptians had conquered from the Hyksos (according to some opinions, Raamses was the Hyksos’ capital). When the Egyptians finally defeated their sworn enemies, the Hyksos, and captured their principal cities, they interpreted this as a victory of their gods, and therefore bestowed the new name “Pithom” – “Pi-hahiroth,” meaning the City of Heirut (“freedom”), or the House of Freedom. This was a special city, because next to it – on the border – they built an idol called Baal-zephon, in memory of their victory, to protect that border from further hostile incursions, and to ensure that no slaves would be able to escape. And not far from there was the Hyksos’ capital, which the Egyptians now called “Raamses” in honour of the current pharaoh.
This was the reason that it was specifically next to Pithom, the site where the Children of Israel were humiliated and the site of the most terrible hillul HaShem, as well as the site of Egypt’s idols and Egypt’s pride in their triumph, that God wrought His vengeance on Egypt. This is an example of measure-for-measure punishment: in the same place where the Egyptians began to desecrate the Name of God – there His Name was aggrandized and sanctified (Rabbi Meir Kahane Hy”d, in Peirush ha-Maccabee, Exodus page 28).
This, then, was the awesome Kiddush HaShem in last week’s Parashah: God publicly defeated and destroyed the mightiest nation in the world as punishment for the evil they had perpetrated against Him and His nation.
And in this week’s Parashah, we encounter a very different form of Kiddush HaShem: Yitro (Jethro), the minister of Midian, publicly acknowledged HaShem, God of the Hebrews, as the Supreme Power.
Our Parashah begins, “Yitro the minister of Midian, Moshe’s father-in-law, had heard of all that God had done for Moshe and for Israel His nation – that HaShem had brought Israel out from Egypt” (Exodus 18:1). Sixteen chapters and several decades earlier, the Torah had first introduced Yitro, albeit without yet naming him, with the words “the minister of Midian had seven daughters…” (Exodus 2:16). The Midrash (Mekhilta de-Rabbi Yishmael, Amalek 1; Yalkut Shimoni, Yitro 268) records a dispute over the precise meaning of the word kohen (which we have rendered “minister”) in this context: Rabbi Yehoshua said that it means a minister of religion (i.e. a priest of idolatry); Rabbi Elazar the Moda’i (from Modi’im) said that it means a national leader (akin to a senior government minister).
Rabbi Meir Kahane Hy”d (Peirush ha-Maccabee, Exodus pages 175-178) cites various Midrashim which indicate that when the young Moshe had fled to Midian and encountered Yitro’s daughters by the well, Yitro had long since understood the futility and falseness of idolatry, and had actually had the courage of his convictions to abandon it publicly and had resigned from the idolatrous Midianite priesthood. He and his family were therefore ostracised by Midianite society, which was why his seven daughters had to draw water from the well unaided, and also why the other shepherds felt at liberty to habitually drive them away from the well and otherwise abuse them (Exodus 2:17-18).
This is another form of Kiddush HaShem: whether Yitro was a priest of idolatry or a national leader, he clearly had heavy influence and commanded much respect among his fellow-Midianites. Midian was a son of Abraham, whom his wife Keturah had born him (Genesis 25:2), and by this time had grown into a large confederation of tribes inhabiting the region east of Israel (in present-day terms, southern Jordan and north-west Saudi Arabia).
Any priest or national leader of Midian would have enjoyed wealth and status, and would be famous among a fairly large population. For such a man to abandon his post despite the consequences would have been a well-publicised scandal. For him to do this because he recognised the falseness of Midianite paganism and had decided to follow HaShem, the God of the Hebrews, inevitably sanctified the Name of God.
True, Midian was not a global super-power on the level of Egypt, but it was fairly large and populous nonetheless. And Yitro knew all the gods which were worshipped throughout the world, which was why he could confidently state “Now I know that HaShem is greater than all the gods” (Exodus 18:11; see Rashi’s comment there). For Yitro to publicly declare his abandonment of all the false gods in favour of HaShem, the one true God, was the approximate equivalent of a pope publicly acknowledging that actually the Jews were right all along, even though his public confession would cast him into exile from his palace and ostracism from the religion that he heads.
Pharaoh and Yitro, then, are the two paradigms for Kiddush HaShem. They were both forced to recognise the falseness of polytheism, both were forced to acknowledge that HaShem, God of the Hebrews, is the sole true God. They achieved this understanding in very different ways – the one through evil, the other through honest enquiry; the one against his will, the other whole-heartedly and joyfully; the one by attempting to exterminate Israel, HaShem’s nation, the other by hearing about their salvation and rejoicing in it; the one by fighting against God, the other by embracing Him.
But despite their polar differences, both these men, both leaders of their respective nations, became tools through which God’s Name became sanctified in this world.
You can read more of his work on Israel National News Arutz Sheva
by clicking here
Daniel also can be contacted via Facebook
Click here to access h
Permanent link to this article: http://jewishmiracles.insightonthenews.net/?p=2334
This is a true story – but you probably won’t believe it !
Jerry came to Israel on business every few months. On that day in August 2001 he had a busy day planned ahead.
He was on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, in the center of town, and was looking for somewhere where he could buy a quick bite to eat before his next appointment. On the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Street he saw a restaurant called ‘Sbarro’ and entered.
There was a long line and he waited impatiently looking at his watch. The man in front of him sensed his impatience and asked ‘Are you in a hurry to get somewhere ?’ Jerry answered ‘Yeah, I’ve got a meeting in another few minutes’. ‘O.K.’ he replied ‘you can go in front of me’. Jerry thanked the man and ordered his food. He sat down, ate very quickly and went on his way to his meeting.
Jerry had only managed to take a few steps away from the restaurant and he heard the most powerful boom in his ears. He turned around and saw complete destruction – the restaurant had been blown up by a terrorist. There was a strong smell of burning in the air, screams for help, broken glass and mayhem was all around. Within minutes ambulances were on the scene.
15 innocent people had been killed on that awful day, and many more injured.
Jerry was in a daze and he realized that only because he had got out quickly had he been saved. He also realized that the man that had let him go in front of him had still been inside.
Jerry ran into the confusion and looked for the man, but wasn’t able to find him. He didn’t want to give up, maybe the man had been amongst those killed ! The mans kindness of letting him in front had saved his life, he had to know what had happened to him, and so he went from hospital to hospital looking for this man.
After a lot of effort Jerry found the man in one of the hospitals. He was in intensive care in serious but not fatal condition. His body was full of shrapnel and he was hooked up to various machines. The mans son was by his side. Jerry told the son what had happened and he added ‘His small act of kindness of letting me go in front not only saved my life, but also his own life – I have no doubt’.
The doctors notified the son that his father would be OK, but there would be a long process of surgeries and rehab before he would be 100%. Jerry told the son ‘I owe a lot to your father, and I have no idea how I can thank him. Soon I am flying back to New York, here is my phone number, if there is anything I can do for your father please, please don’t hesitate to call me’.
The next few weeks were very difficult for the man. He had surgery several times and the doctors decided that for a specific operation that needed to be done he would need to fly to Boston. He had no family in the U.S. , but the son remembered Jerry and so he gave him a call. Jerry told the son – ‘Don’t you worry about a single thing ! I am going to put my business aside until everything is taken care of so that your father can come to Boston as soon as possible’.
And so it was on 11th September 2001 at 8:30 in the morning the plane landed in Boston. Jerry was waiting for the man his wife and his son in the airport and greeted them warmly. The family started to thank Jerry when suddenly there was complete panic all around in the airport. Security guards were running in all directions, cell phones were ringing and people were in hysteria. Within a few minutes the dreadful picture had been clarified – terrorists had taken over planes and flown them into the twin towers in New York.
Jerry’s face went white, for a few seconds he felt paralyzed from the shock and wasn’t able to speak.
After he had digested the news he turned to the man and said ‘this is the second time that my life has been saved because of you’.
Jerry’s office was on the 101st floor of the twin towers.
The real reward for our efforts and good deeds is in the world to come, but sometimes when we do a good deed G-d lets us know that even in this world a good deed is worth even more than life itself.
The following story was posted on Facebook by Ya’akov Sandler .
Click here to contact him on Facebook.
Permanent link to this article: http://jewishmiracles.insightonthenews.net/?p=2195
Parashat Mikkeitz & Chanukah: Enlightenment by Daniel Pinner
In more than ninety percent of years, Parashat Mikkeitz coincides with Chanukah; the last time it did not was in 5761 (2000), and the next time will be in 5681 (2020). Is this merely coincidence, or is there a common theme which links Parashat Mikkeitz with Chanukah?
Parashat Mikkeitz begins with Joseph languishing in Egypt’s royal prison, convicted of a crime which he never committed. Even Potiphar, who had had him thrown into the dungeon, knew – or at least suspected – that Joseph was innocent (Genesis Rabbah 87:9, Targum Yonatan to Genesis 39:20; see Ramban, S’forno, Malbim, and Ibn Ezra on 39:19). After all, he knew exactly what sort of a person his wife was, and had he really believed that this foreign slave had attempted to rape his wife, he would certainly have had him executed.
By the end of the Parashah, nine years later, Joseph was the viceroy of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself.
Pharaoh had demonstrated that Egypt would accept a Hebrew, even a Hebrew who was an ex-convict and ex-slave, as their ruler, based on his merit alone.
In the rest of the Book of Genesis history continues on its familiar path: the Egyptians invited the Hebrew family down to Egypt to live there in comfort, luxury, and honour. The Egyptians were full of gratitude to Joseph, and by extension to his whole family, for having saved them from regional famine. Not only did Egypt survive – it became a regional superpower thanks to Joseph.
Egyptian exile began so auspiciously, that first generation must have wondered why their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham, had so dreaded it. It took another generation before Egypt turned against us: only after the last of the twelve sons of Israel died did a later pharaoh initiate his programme of forced labour, slavery, torture, and extermination.
Parashat Mikkeitz is the story of the comfortable and genial beginning of the Egyptian exile. (And in the very few years that Mikkeitz does not coincide with Chanukah, Parashat Yayeishev does instead; this, too, depicts Joseph’s descent to Egypt, which is the introduction to Egyptian exile.)
Jump ahead almost a millennium and a half.
The year was 333 B.C.E., and Israel had been a semi-autonomous province for generations, ever since Koresh (Cyrus), king of Persia, had granted the Jews permission to return home from anywhere in the Persian Empire they may be, there to rebuild the Holy Temple (Ezra 1:1-4, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23).
In 333 B.C.E., Alexander the Great invaded Israel, driving out the Persian forces. The Greek invasion was bloodless, and the Greek Empire treated the Jews not merely with tolerance, but with genuine respect. The Greeks regarded themselves (maybe justifiably) as the pinnacle of civilisation: almost alone in the ancient world, they maintained written historical chronicles, they valued education, they had well-constructed philosophies, they had an advanced functioning government and legal system. All other nations whom they encountered were illiterate barbarians.
When they conquered Israel they found, for the first time, another nation which was also highly educated, with its own system of education, historical chronicles, philosophies, legal system, and neatly-ordered society.
The leaders of the two nations – Alexander the Great and Shimon ha-Tzaddik the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) – had mutual respect for each other: the Talmud (Yoma 69a) records that as Alexander the Great was approaching Jerusalem, Shimon ha-Tzaddik, wearing the garments of the Kehunah (Priesthood), led a delegation of Elders to meet him. Alexander, upon seeing Shimon ha-Tzaddik resplendent in his Priestly garb, dismounted from his chariot and knelt before him. Alexander’s astounded entourage exclaimed: “What’s a great king like you doing bowing to this Jew?!” Alexander the Great explained that every time he had ever gone into battle, he had seen an apparition of this elderly Kohen Gadol, and ascribed his victories to him.
(The renegade Jewish Historian, Josephus Flavius, records the same incident, though with a few minor differences, in Antiquities of the Jews, XI: 321-347.)
Greek dominion of Israel began very auspiciously – as auspiciously as the Egyptian exile had begum all those centuries earlier. But after just ten years, Alexander the Great died, and the Greek Empire immediately fragmented into three successor-empires – the Seleucid Empire, based in Syria; the Ptolemaic Empire, based in Egypt; and the Macedonian Empire, based in Greece proper. Israel was included in the Ptolemaic Empire, under Ptolemy I. Ruled from Alexandria, a great cosmopolitan city, the Ptolemaic Empire at first retained Alexander the Great’s tolerance and liberalism, and Jewish life flourished in Israel for a century and a quarter. The Jews were free to worship and live their lives as they wanted, which was unique in the Greek Empire, in which every other conquered nation was Hellenised and assimilated into Greek Hellenistic culture.
But in 198 B.C.E., the Seleucid (Syrian-Greek) Empire, ruled by King Antiochus III, invaded Israel from the north, driving out the Ptolemaic Empire, and the Seleucid reign was harsh and oppressive. In 175 B.C.E. Antiochus III died, his son Mithridates became king, changing his name to Antiochus IV, and installed an ever-more intrusive government.
Antiochus IV, identifiably a megalomaniac, awarded himself the Greek title theos epiphanes (“manifest god”); the Jews contemptuously referred to him as Epimanes (“the lunatic”). Almost as soon as he ascended the throne, Antiochus Epiphanes began enforced Hellenisation of Israel and forbade the Jews from practicing Judaism: one of his first acts, in 174 C.E., was to install his hand-picked acolyte, Menelaus, an enthusiastic Hellenist, as High Priest. He thus had effective control over the Holy Temple in Jerusalem – that is, de facto control over the Jewish religious, political, and cultural centre.
In 169 B.C.E., Antiochus Epiphanes marched on Jerusalem. Hellenist forces – Syrian-Greek with Jewish collaborators – captured the city after brief skirmishes, and Antiochus Epiphanes plundered the Holy Temple. Confused fighting raged through Jerusalem for over a year, until in 168 B.C.E. Hellenist forces under the command of Apollonius finally subdued the entire city, massacred the Jewish population therein, and began offering pagan sacrifices in the Holy Temple. This was converted to a pagan shrine to the Olympian god Zeus, and a pig was sacrificed to him. This sparked off a bloody and vicious civil war, between the Syrian-Greek forces and their Jewish collaborators on one side, and the Jews who remained loyal to Judaism on the other side.
In 167 B.C.E., Antiochus Epiphanes began a concerted campaign against Judaism throughout Judea. A unit commanded by Apelles set up a pagan altar in the village of Modi’in, in the foot-hills of Judea, 27 km (17 miles) north-west of Jerusalem. Apelles ordered Matityahu (Mattathias), the priest of the village, to sacrifice a pig upon it. When Matityahu refused, another Jew (whose name has been forever lost to history) stepped forward to sacrifice the pig on the pagan altar.
Matityahu snatched a sword from a Greek soldier and killed the Jewish traitor. He then turned his sword on Apelles, killing him too. He and his sons then attacked the entire Greek garrison, killing all the soldiers, and before other units of the Seleucid army could take reprisals fled into the surrounding Judean hills.
Thus began the revolt of the Maccabees against Greek oppression.
Matityahu would die less than a year after the revolt began, but his five sons inspired the masses of Jews in Israel to take up the fight for independence. In 164 B.C.E. Maccabean forces liberated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, drove out the Syrian-Geek idolatry and the accoutrements with which they had defiled the Holy Temple, and re-dedicated the Holy Temple to the worship of the One true G-d on the twenty-fifth of Kislev. The fighting would continue for decades, but for the first time in almost three centuries, there was full Jewish independence in Israel (albeit only in a small area to start with).
Greek rule, which had begun with such enlightenment, had rapidly degenerated into something evil and ugly – just as, all those centuries earlier, Egypt had done.
Egypt had been a regional superpower, with physical achievements that were the envy of the ancient world. Egyptian architects had designed and constructed pyramids, irrigation canals, granaries, cities and palaces which were more impressive than anything else that existed. Egyptian civilisation had built a stable monarchy and government which survived over a millennium and a half, through more than twenty dynasties.
But it was based on idolatry – the denial of G-d, the denial that man is created in G-d’s image. It was inevitable that with idolatry as its foundation, the entire edifice of Egypt would one day become evil, would one day treat people as property to be disposed of with as little worth as bricks or straw.
Likewise, Greece was a global superpower. For better or worse, Greek philosophy, Greek architecture, Greek science, the Greek language, Greek art, the Greek legal system – these dominated the world, and have dominated, or at least influenced, all human civilisation ever since.
But Greece, too, was based on idolatry – and it was inevitable that Greece, however convivial they may have been when they first conquered Israel, would one day descend into the same murderous evil as all systems which deny the sanctity of man created in the image of G-d, and of the world created by G-d for His purposes.
Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Hertz (1872-1846), former Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, notes: “[In] Greece, a slave was deemed ‘an animated tool’, and he could claim no more rights in his relationship to his master than a beast of burden. Agricultural labourers were chained. If at ay time it was thought that there were too many slaves, they were exterminated, as wild beasts would be. Athens was an important slave market, and the State profited from it by a tax on the sales. So much for ‘the glory that was Greece’” (commentary to Leviticus 25:46).
Greek society and Hellenist philosophy are commonly thought of as enlightened and tolerant. Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Hertz demolishes this myth, too: “As for tolerance, even enlightened Greek polytheism permitted three of the greatest thinkers of the age – Socrates, Protagoras, and Anaxagoras – to be put to death on religious grounds. The Jews came into contact with Greek polytheism in its later stages. But neither Antiochus Epiphanes, who attempted to drown Judaism in the blood of its faithful children, nor Apion, the frenzied spokesman of the anti-Semites in Alexandria, displayed particular tolerance… Greek society was broad-based on un-righteousness, i.e. on human slavery… It is not generally remembered that we find traces of human sacrifice throughout the Hellenic world, in the cult of almost every god, and in all periods of the independent Greek states”.
In Egypt, the tyrant who began the descent into murderous oppression was the pharaoh Amenhotep IV, who radically reformed Egyptian polytheism, replacing it with worship of only one god – the sun. (He did not deny the power of the other gods; he merely illegalised their worship.) Accordingly, he changed his own name to Ekhanaton, “glory of the sun”, awarding himself divine authority. In Greece, the murderous oppression began with Antiochus IV, who awarded himself the title theos epiphanes(“manifest god”), awarding himself divine authority too.
The immutable law of history, which both Parashat Mikkeitz and Chanukah teach, is that even a nation which has the most beautiful art, the most impressive architecture, the most intellectually brilliant philosophers, the most enlightened legal system, can nevertheless degenerate into hideous cruelty. Even societies which have been wonderfully welcoming to Jews have usually turned against them sooner or later. Egypt was the paradigm; Greece followed the same pattern; so did Moslem Spain, Catholic Poland and Protestant Germany and a hundred other countries after them.
Parashat Mikkeitz and Chanukah: two paradigms of oppressors, one in exile and one in Israel. Both began as a beautiful friendship with Israel; both were pagan; and both degenerated into murderous horrors.
Purely human enlightenment can never be trusted to last. True enlightenment comes from G-d Who gave us the Torah, which alone gives us pure and eternal enlightenment; “for the candle is the mitzvah, and the Torah is light” (Proverbs 6:23).
Daniel Pinner is a veteran immigrant from England, a teacher and an electrician by profession; a Torah scholar who has been active in causes promoting Eretz Israel and Torat Israel.
You can read more of his work on Israel National News Arutz Sheva
by clicking here
Daniel also can be contacted via Facebook
Click here to access his profile
Permanent link to this article: http://jewishmiracles.insightonthenews.net/?p=2002