Monday, December 21, 2009

Hanukka in Berlin

I admit to having mixed feelings about this. Do there need to be Jews in Germany at all? If so, do they need to be so in-your-face? Then again, might it not be an accumulation of such things that over time might make of Germany (or anywhere else) the sort of place the US already is? Then again, whom am I kidding? On the other hand, perhaps the whole thing is unimportant and forgettable, one way or the other?


Anonymous said...

Am Yisrael - chai!

Nuff said

Mr. Gerson said...

It wasn't desecrated, it is a beautiful symbol of life.

Avigdor said...

Apparently, Yaakov, yes we can! Chazak, chazak!

Ok, maybe that was a little overkill, but you get the message. If a Chanukah menorah can shine on Red Square (ha!), and it can shine on Berlin, and it can shine on Rome... To G-d it does not matter who are the few, and who are the many; to me, that's the essential message of Chanukah.

Perhaps, in our lifetime, a Chanukah menorah will shine on Baghdad, and on Tehran and on Mecca. Chanukah is the ultimate, universal victory of light over darkness, or purity over defilement. If the Arabs knew the story of Chanukah, they would immediately claim it happened to them and build the biggest menorah in the world to prove it.

Mildly related story: A friend of mine returned from Iraq a year ago. He served in a civilian reconstruction team, in a farming village in the Shiite area populated by Marsh Arabs. On a patrol, he was walking past a shop and noticed some steel trinkets in the shape of a menorah. Surprised, he asked the shopkeeper why he was selling them, and the shopkeeper answer, because people keep buying them. Yes, but what is it? I don't know, we always made them. He was afraid to ask if there were Jews nearby not to draw attention to himself and kept walking.