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The Tabernacle Times
December 2015                              Kislev - Tevet 5776                         Volume 10 Issue 12


Rabbi & Brenda
by Rabbi Jeremy
& Brenda Storch







  Hanukkah commemorates the historical victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks. The Jewish rebellion started in the year 167 B.C.E., after a century of Greek cultural assimilation. In the village of Modiin, Greek forces commanded the Jews to make offerings to a pagan god. One submissive Jew complied. This so enflamed the elderly priest Mattathias that he sprang up, killed the servile Jew, and led his five sons and handful of followers into the hills for a protracted guerilla war against the Greeks and their Hellenistic Jewish cohorts.

What was the Greek strategy for destroying Judaism?

Surprisingly, when the Greeks attacked the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, they didn't try to destroy it or burn it down. Rather, they defiled it. They offered pig sacrifices and brought a statue of Zeus into the Temple. The Greeks transformed the Temple into a house of idol worship. No longer did light stream from the Temple; the word of God was silenced. The Greeks didn't want to totally destroy Judaism. Unlike Pharaoh in Egypt, Haman of the
  Purim story, or Hitler, the Greeks did not want to exterminate the Jews.

Happy Hanukkah

Rather, it was "Judaism as a way of life" that the Greeks opposed. They sought "li-Challel" -- literally, to make it empty. They wanted to defile Jewish holy objects. To tear the heart and meaning out of Judaism. To take away the depth and reduce it to symbolism. To sap its spiritual core and to render it impotent.
This explains why the Greeks carefully scoured the Temple grounds searching for pure flasks of oil (bearing the seal of the High Priest). They knew that defiling the oil would silence the light of the Menorah -- the light of Torah which reflects the depth and meaning of Jewish national and religious life. The Greeks knew that was the way to best "conquer" the Jewish nation.

               (Continued on Page 2)

Inside This Month's Issue:

Hanukkah Torah Overview Tabernacle TV
• Home/Most Recent Videos |
• Teachings for Jew & Gentile|
• Shabbat Praise & Worship

• Torah Portions/Studies |
• Music Selections |
• Beit Midrash
• Ariel Yahudah Dancers |
• Plays and Drama
Kosher Korner Coming Events
Torah Portions Be One in a Million
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