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Hanukkah’s Universal Message by Donald Feder at Front Page Magazine

Hanukkah is supposed to be a minor Jewish holiday that comes in the early winter – a way for Jewish kids to feel better about not having Christmas.

In fact, of all Jewish holidays, it may have the most universal appeal and be the most relevant to the war on religion raging in our culture.

According to the Book of Maccabees, when his army occupied the Land of Israel in the 2nd century BCE, the Syrian King Antiochus IV outlawed Judaism in an attempt to force everyone in his empire to adopt Greek culture and religion. Performing Jewish rituals (including Torah study and circumcision) were punishable by death.

Statues of Greek gods were set up in the Holy Temple and swine sacrificed on the altar. An elderly priest named Mattathias started the revolt by killing a Syrian official and a Jewish Hellenizer and fleeing into the Judean wilderness shouting, “Whoever is for God, follow me!”

When Mattathias died, his five sons carried on the revolt, defeating the Syrian army in a guerrilla war. In 165 BCE, they liberated Jerusalem and cleansed and rededicated the Temple. The miracle of Hanukkah, commemorated by the menorah, involved the candelabrum in the Temple burning for 8 days with enough oil for one.

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.” Democrats believe power should be held only by amoral and irreligious people.

Contrast Hanukkah and Purim. In the Persian Empire, when the physical survival of the Jewish people was threatened by Haman, Mordechai asked them to pray. When our spiritual existence was at stake, we were told to fight, establishing a hierarchy. You pray for your survival; you fight for your faith.

Not all Jewish insurrections ended nearly as well. The two revolts against Rome (68-70 CE and 133-135 CE) led to the destruction of the Second Temple, the fall of Masada, mass slaughter, and almost 2,000 years of exile.

The Warsaw Ghetto uprising (1943) was an heroic act of defiance in the face of certain annihilation. It wasn’t until Israel was reborn that we once again had a fighting chance.

Today, no one is setting up idols in the Temple – at least not literally. But the conflict is just as real. The weapons are laws and restrictions, rhetoric and politics.

A majority of delegates to the 2012 Democrat nominating convention were so offended by the idea of God, that they tried to remove an innocuous reference to the same from the party platform (an observation that everyone willing to work hard deserved “a chance to live up to their God-given potential”). Imagine what they could have done with the Declaration of Independence. “Whoever is against God, follow us?”

They’ve been so successful in purging religion from the public square, through a deliberate misinterpretation of the Establishment Clause, that in the public schools, even a moment of silence is verboten, because someone might be thinking of God.

COVID gave secularists a golden opportunity to attack religion in the name of disease control.

Last week, the Supreme Court overturned New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions on attendance at worship services. In what are designated red zones, attendance of no more than 10 people at a time was allowed, regardless of the size of the hall. In St. Patrick’s Cathedral (capacity, 3,000), 11 would have caused a major outbreak.

The Court’s majority noted that there weren’t similar restrictions on retail establishments and businesses providing personal services (big lot stores and tattoo parlors). During the lockdown, while churches were closed, abortion clinics were open. But that’s progressives practicing their religion.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett was part of the majority in the Cuomo/COVID decision. At her confirmation hearing for 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, Barrett was grilled by the secular Grand Inquisitor, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). (“Are you now, or have you ever been, a Catholic?”) Feinstein explained that dogma and the law are two very different things, but “the dogma lives loudly in you (Barrett),” which disqualified her from serving on the bench. Feinstein assumes that American law had nothing to do with 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition.

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.” Democrats believe power should be held only by amoral and irreligious people.

Progressives demand that we all sacrifice to their gods – abortion up to the time of birth, marriage deconstruction, racial justice, and income equality. From this pagan cult, there can be no disagreement, no dissent.

The light from the Hanukkah menorah is meant to illuminate – to help us to distinguish the truth from the lies lurking in the shadows.

Whoever is for God, follow your conscience.

Hanukkah’s Universal Message | Frontpagemag

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Neuday December 10, 2020, 10:16 AM

    Do popular media organizations is Israel publish articles about “Christmas’s Universal Message”? Somehow I doubt it. But you know how it is, open borders for thee but not for me. Free speech for me but not for thee. I do pray for their conversion, not only for individual souls but for the well-being of the human race and our nations.

  • EX-Californian Pete December 10, 2020, 10:40 AM

    A very wise old Jewish guy that I worked for a long time ago used to have deep political and religious discussions with me. He made a lot of sense, and he also had an outstanding sense of humor- a great guy to know.
    Once he said that “all Christians are are actually HALF Jewish.”
    “REALLY?” I said. “Just how do you figure that?”
    “Well, Jews believe in the Old Testament, right?”
    “And Christians believe in the Old AND New Testaments, right?”
    “Yep again.”
    “Well, there you have it- that means you’re half Jewish!”

  • james wilson December 10, 2020, 1:31 PM

    Nothing has misled us more than the assumption that ours is or was a Judeo-Christian heritage. It is a Greek-Christian heritage. The Reniassance was a Christian era re-discovery of Greece and it’s offspring on the Italian peninsula. Jesus represented a major change from the tone of the Hebrew book, and that change evolved from the Greek far more than it found roots in the Hebrew.

    To the man who himself strives earnestly, God also lends a helping hand.
    The gods help those who help themselves.
    It is more delightful and honorable to give than to receive.
    He that does good to another does good to himself.
    God loves to help him who strives to help himself.
    If we desire to judge justly, we must persuade ourselves that none of us is without sin.
    Man regards it as his right to return evil for evil, and if he cannot, feels he has lost his liberty.
    Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.
    To be free of evil thoughts is God’s best gift.
    And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God

  • Kurt December 10, 2020, 4:15 PM

    Beware, brothers, lest the in-grafted branch exalt itself above its place! (Romans 11:11-24) Know that the Lord will never forget Israel (Isaiah 49:14-18). Be thankful for the blessing that we received through them and pay your just debts (Romans 15:27)
    And finally these words, from the Lord Himself, spoken to Abraham and through him to his descendants, are true to this day:
    “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3

  • PA Cat December 10, 2020, 5:22 PM

    Hanukkah comes during the Advent season for Christians, which reminds us– as Kurt points out– that God has not forgotten His ancient people. A well-known Advent hymn refers to all humankind as “captive Israel”:

    In the Latin original:
    Veni, veni Emmanuel!
    Captivum solve Israel!
    Qui gemit in exilio,
    Privatus Dei Filio,
    Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel
    nascetur pro te, Israel.

    O come, O come, Emmanuel,
    And ransom captive Israel,
    That mourns in lonely exile here,
    Until the Son of God appear.
    Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
    Shall come to thee, O Israel.

    And here is the Piano Guys’ beautiful version of the plainsong melody:

  • Zaphod December 10, 2020, 9:56 PM

    Happy Hanukkah to all Jews of good will. And may the Good Lord grant us all just as much Chutzpah and In-Group Preference Bias as our Hebrew Brethren have been blessed with since about when Adam delved and Eve span because we’re going to have to make more like them if there’s going to be any of us left a century hence.

  • Zaphod December 10, 2020, 9:58 PM


    Why do I get the impression that you’re not channeling Neuhaus? 😀

  • EX-Californian Pete December 11, 2020, 9:17 AM

    “Nothing has misled us more than…”

    Us? I always find it amusing when someone determines from afar that I, we, us, have been somehow misinformed or mislead.
    Some folks might take that as an insult to their intellect, or even their heritage.

    However, I’m fairly confident it was not meant in that manner.

  • not a mask December 15, 2020, 8:18 AM

    (((judeo))) Christian?

    I think not. What fellowship hath light with darkness?
    Jesus Christ came to earth not to commend the so-called “jewish” leaders, but to condemn their TRADITIONS OF MEN, ie judaism.
    What is judaism?
    It IS NOT of the OT, the Pentateuch, it is talmudism.

    Read what they say about themselves, judaism and beliefs in “the jewish encyclopedia”.
    Read what the talmud has to say about gentiles.
    Astonishment awaits.