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Shlomo on Hanukkah

House of Love and Prayer, San Francisco. Hanukah 5733

We are standing before G-d, begging the worlds crying out to the world; let’s stop celebrating victories; let’s start celebrating Light. There is some light left in the world. King David said in the Psalms; Ani Shalom, I am peace. I’m not preaching peace not talking about peace I am Peace. When the world talks about peace, they always mean you should peaceful; always the other one. You can get peace wholesale; not in Moscow, not in Washington, not in Geneva, only in Yerushalayim. You know I was at the rally for Israel at City Hall and looked up at the tall buildings, very tall, very beautiful. But they don’t reach heaven. But there is one little wall in Yerushalayim and when the most insignificant Jew stands by it and sheds his tears on it, he reaches heaven, maybe much higher.

Reb Nachman says that whenever a Jew is going he is on his way to Yerushalayim. For the Jew there is only one place he can get peace in Yerushalayim The world won’t give him peace. So we must find it among each other and G-d and Israel. Peace always has to be between two. Before G-d created the world He didn’t need peace all he needed was Himself. But once He created the world, He needed peace with the world. We are the only people who have stopped killing for two thousand years and even when we did, we did it to survive, and even then we cried over it.

The world wants peace, but as far as they are concerned, they will only have it when we Jews have gone. When the world says that we have to give up some land, what they are really saying, and what they really mean is, Jew get out of all the land, withdraw from the globe. The Jew is reminding the world of G-d and the world says let me have peace, got off my back. And so every once in a while the civilized world says let’s have another crusade for G-d. Let’s kill in the name of G-d. And we Jews are once again telling the world If you want to kill don’t do it in G-d’s name; do it in your own name. So when they say Geneva and peace remember Munich, remember the light of Chanukah telling us that peace is not synomous with Kissinger synonomous with G-d. Because how can we be at peace with the world if we are not at peace with G-d?

How did Judah Maccabee find his great army.? It could be today. You and I know the truth. The Greeks were a highly civilized people. Many people still believe in the Greek civilization. We spend more time learning about them then we do most any other civilization in school. So the civilized Greeks had a few sweet things. They decided that a Jewish bride on the night of her wedding, must spend the first night the soldiers; and pulling Jews off the streets to worship idols is a very civilzed thing to do. So finally the older Jews said, let’s die for G-d, and Judah Maccabee said, no, let’s fight for G-d. He went right down to the pagan temples, where, of course, the Jewish youth were. And he grabbed them and shouted at them, What’s going here? How long will you worship pagan idols? And he asked one boy what would you do to bring light back into the Temple and he said, I’d give my life. That was Judah Maccabee’s army. So I ask, Let’s become a great army; let’s kindle the Light.

It says “shelo yihbe neiro l’olam v’ed”, the light will burn forever. G-d swore to us, if there would be such a thing as the depths of G-d, then from the deepest of depths of G-d, thru His very Existence, He swore to us that the Light would burn forever.

All the holidays extend from the night to the day. Pesach — Matzo we eat night and during the day. On Succos we sit in the Succoh both at night and during the day. Chanukah is one holiday where the whole ceremony is only at night. Chanukah gives us the strength to bear the sometimes long, sometimes blackest of nights. But G-d swore to us that in the morning the Light will be burning.