Monday, 19 December 2011

Mi La'Hashem Elai!

by GYE (See all authors)

Chanukah is about Messiras Nefesh. The Jewish people merited the miracles of Chanukah through the self-sacrifice of the few Macabees (Macabee stands for "Mi Kamocha Ba'Eilim Hashem - Who is like you amongst the mighty, Oh G-d!"). They were willing to give their lives for the sanctity of the Jewish people. They knew they stood no chance alone, only the power of Hashem could do it for them. They gave their lives to G-d, and were willing to die for the cause - and that is why they merited great miracles.

This trait of Messiras Nefesh in the Jewish people goes back to Avraham Avinu who was willing to be thrown into the furnace of Nimrod rather than bow down to idols. The first documented case of Messiras Nefesh in the Torah is the story of Akeidas Yitzchak.

It is brought down in the Seffarim that Yosef Hatzadik's test with the wife of Potifar was an extremely difficult test. Hashem put all possible seductions and temptations into this one test. How was Yosef able to overcome it? He pictured in his mind, that if Hashem would ask him to give his life on the Mizbe'ach like he had asked his grandfather Yitzchak, would he want to be a blemished sacrifice? No! And if he would be willing to lay his life down for Hashem, could he not at least give up this temptation? Yes! And that is what gave him the strength to be victorious.

Perhaps that is why the test of Yossef is read around the time of Chanukah each year.

YHandYT_ChanukahWe are faced with great temptations every day. Let us remember the Messiras Nefesh of the Maccabees. Let us remind ourselves, that as Jews, we would be willing to be thrown into fire and not bow down to idols. Lust is like idol worship. As Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai told his talmidim when a beautiful woman walked by: "Al Tifnu El Ha'Elilim - do not turn to false G-ds". If we would be willing to give our lives for Hashem, can we not at least give up on our unhealthy lusting?

We on GYE are the Maccabees of our generation! We are the few against the many, the weak against the mighty. The multi billion dollar lust peddling industries out there are trying to destroy the Jewish people from the inside - "Le'Ha'avirum Me'al Chukei Ritzonecha". But we won't give in. We are willing to give our lives for our beliefs, so surely we are willing to give up these desires for Hashem!

Let us accept upon ourselves today: No more YouTube. No more Face-Book. No more non-Jewish news-sites, magazines, newspapers and movies. All of these things are full of triggers. They are the tools of war that 'Yavan' uses to insert it's tentacles into our Jewish minds and souls. This is a fight for our very Neshamos!

Chanukah is a very holy time. It is a time for Messiras Nefesh. A time for decisions.

Mi La'Hashem Elai!