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Falling down, getting up!

Thursday, 19 December, 2019 - 8:55 pm

Those of you who attended Sunday’s incredible Farbrengen/dinner with Idaho’s Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz, may have noticed that I was walking funny and perhaps experiencing a bit of pain. I was. Ten days ago, while focused on my phone and walking down the stairs, I tripped on a toy and had quite the fall. I had the wind knocked out of me, landed flat on my back and faced brutal physical pain for a week. I am now on the mend, but It’s still sore and I guess I won’t be skiing this season :).

While aching on the couch I realized that this is the collective story of our people.

During the era of Chanukah, the Syrian Greeks did their very best to knock us down. We were hit hard, as most Jews chose assimilation over defiance, secularism over Torah observance, new age over tradition; our people were at a low. We had fallen down the spiritual stairs and the road to recovery seemed improbable. Yet, we can look back and smile; not only did we make a comeback due to the heroic Maccabees, but in the 2,200 years since, Judaism has flourished in unimaginable ways and reached infinite heights. Since the first Chanukah, we’ve merited the Era of Mishna/Talmud in Israel, the era of the Geonim in Babylonia, the Era of the Rishonim in Germany, France, North Africa and Spain, the era of the Achronim in Holland, Italy and Czechoslovakia and the era of Chassidim in Ukraine, Poland, New York, and, now, the world over. 

We, the Jewish people, have bruised our ribs, pulled a few muscles and have even had the wind knocked out of us. We’ve been through so much, we've been down, but we are not out, as Torah Judaism is blossoming everywhere. The Antiochus’s of history wouldn’t believe how alive Jewry is. Thanks to Judah, his relative Yehudis and their band of religious freedom fighters, Moses’ teachings are still celebrated in Bozeman and beyond. Sunday night, as you kindle your Menorah, pause and smile, smile at the flickering flame that is representative of our people, our faith, our perseverance. 

Hold on, just hold on, don’t let go, don’t let go, you can’t let go, you gotta keep on movin’ on!

May You guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May You protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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