Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Enemy From Within

The על הניסים we include in our prayers and in the blessing after a meal during Chanukah details the miracles that occurred during the Hasmonean uprising about 2,150 years ago.

The prayer lists the 5 miracles during the war:

"You delivered -
1) "the strong into hands of the weak;
2) "the many into hands of the few;
3) "the defiled into hands of the pure;
4) "the transgressors into hands of the righteous; and
5) "the reformists into hands of the Torah-true."

The first two miracles make sense. The Greeks/Syrians presented a formidable and massive enemy, and still the Jews triumphed. But what sense does it make to expect the "pure" be weaker than the "defiled"? Similarly, why should "righteous" people be any weaker than "transgressors"?

The answer is simple. The Gentile army enjoyed as their ally the Jews who sought to reform Torah in order to assimilate with the Greek culture. These "Hellenists" actually took up arms and fought against their Hasmonean brethren in concert with the Gentiles they so admired. (Reminds you of the "Peace Now" movement in Israel, does it not?)

The last 3 miracles mentioned takes this Hellenist component into consideration, which even more severely tilted the odds against the Torah-true Jews. And, in spite of these excessive odds, the Gentiles and their Jewish sympathizers were soundly shellacked.