Study and Theory/
Chanukah

Naftali Herz Yunas

Where is the Maccabee?

Printed in Hatzvi, Chanukah 5644 (1893)

We light the Chanukah candle only to fulfil a good deed, and we do not pay attention to the source and its root. so much so that we forget the most important issue. We recall by several words Antiochus in the Hasmonean era who insisted that your people of Israel forget your Torah and You in your grace stood by them in their time of need, You argued....You heard....You avenged...You gave.. Who did all this? Who will do all of these? Who was the agent of God? Who was the man of war?...Where is the Maccabee who did not put down his sword until his last breath? Judah the Maccabee, as if he never was and was never born and his position is not mentioned in prayer! We dismiss all this in a short period of time until the last person leaves the market and each person finds the God of Israel.
We don’t pay attention to this great and enlightened hero, to take his values and he took from him to also arouse in his son a holy emotion, with strength of heart and with courage of spirit to love our people and the land of our fathers, one man to strengthen his brother so that we shall have one heart and one desire for our steadfastness and our resurrection, to do whatever we can do and not to despair due to the troubles, to have mercy on our honour, to defend ourselves, to gather our fear and to go forward - forward and not like a crab that walks backwards, and let it flow in our arteries - whether a little or a lot - the blood of this admired hero who spilled his blood for the outrage of his people and his land, which are still alive in the chronicles - if we did such - then we can really make the blessing “He who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this time”

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