Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Shape of the Chanuka Dreidel

Nothing in the world is random, and how much more so anything related to Judaism. Take the shape of the Chanuka "dreidel" as a metaphor. It spins as an inverted pyramid, on its tip. Similarly, the Chanuka miracle represents a vast majority's reliance on a minority that sustains it by tenaciously sticking to the original, authentic Jewish spirituality, the base upon which the world turns and depends on.

The floor symbolizes the Torah upon which the Torah-true minority adheres to, the dreidel's tip represents the Torah-true minority, and the rest of the dreidel's mass represents the rest of the universe.

Somewhere in the greater mass we'll find our modern-day Jewish Hellenists. The reformist movement (be it "Reform", "Conservative" or "Reconstructionist") prides itself in its extensive presence, its numerous organizations and large membership; As if the larger the number, the more impressive and, therefore, the more credible their position. (That's the most common "selling point" of their websites.) Perhaps this is why they feel compelled to assimilate with their Gentile peers; After all, there are some 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world.

But God happened to create the world with an opposite algorithm! God does not want Jews to water down their Judaism!

The quantity of inert matter far exceeds the quantity of plant life that it sustains. The quantity of plant life far exceeds the quantity of animal life, for the same reason. The quantity in the animal kingdom far exceeds that of the human species, which benefit from the former. The quantity of Gentiles far exceeds the quantity of Jews, a core of whom is necessary to sustain the world, otherwise it would not exist. The quantity of unreligious Jews far exceeds the quantity of religious Jews, who must try to influence their unreligious peers. And the quantity of religious Jews far surpasses the single Moses of the generation, the head on the body, without which the Jewish body - or generation - cannot exist.

Just as the dreidel's function relies on its tip to support its entire mass, the Jewish people who hold firmly to Torah provide the world with its raison-d'etre. The Jewish people are the tip that supports the entire spinning mass! (That the Gentile world does not yet realize this dependency is irrelevant but this knowledge will anyhow become an eventuality.)

If this concept sounds strange to you, you're unfamiliar with the meaning of the Bible's very first word, which means, as Rashi explains, "For the sake of two entities called "ראשית"; The first verse reads, "For the sake of ... the entire world was created."; For the sake of the Jewish people and for the sake of Torah, and, significantly - in that order!

The only way Jewish people can connect directly to Hashem is via the Moses of their generation, the "head of the generation". Without the head there is no body and without the body - there is no world. The head of the generation is the perfect conduit, the perfect mediator whose selfish interest in this mediation is absolutely nil.

Says the Rebbe, the head of our generation, "The state of the world is dependent on the state of the Jew in his Judaism".

So invoking numbers to prove an advantage is delusional. Should we be impressed because the Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or Sikhs outnumber us? Since when is truth resident with majorities because they are majorities? The first Jew was Abraham. He alone stood strong with monotheism against an entire world practicing polytheism.

The great sage Hillel said, "Be of the disciples of Aaron; Love peace and pursue peace, love your fellow creatures and bring them close to Torah". Note that he did not say, "... bring Torah close to them". (Pirkei Avot 1:12)

The reformist's attitude to Torah is upside-down. Instead of bringing people to Torah, they bring Torah to the people. To make Torah more "palatable", more "rational", less "fanatic", more "modern", they dilute Torah for their own convenience. But Torah is Hashem's Torah. It's infinite. It's absolute. It's not something we humans may modify or compromise on. When the Chassid reaches out to other Jews to warm them up to Torah, they do so by drawing Jews to Torah, and not by drawing Torah down to suit the Jew.

The 4 letters on the Dreidel add up in gematria to "Moshiach". The sooner reformists abandon their perspective to reform that which God Almighty provided as the source of absolute truth, which is the point of the Chanukah holiday in the first place, the faster Moshiach will arrive.

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