Wednesday nights - Rav Benzion's Tanya shiur..........Please continue to daven for the good health of the Rebbe (Yechiel Michel ben Devorah Leah) and Rebbetzin (Feiga bas Sarah).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chanukah: Responding to the Challenge

The words of Rebbe Reb Yaakov Yisroel Twerski, ztz"l (from "Turning Pages")

During the weeks between the High Holidays and the festive time of Chanukah, we find ourselves treated by inspiring and very interesting Torah readings in the Sabbath Service. These portions deal with the very beginnings of our people, and deal with the lives of the spiritual giants of our early history: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Matriarchs, the Twelve Tribes - all are part of the unfolding story of spiritual commitment, determination, and courage.

If we were not so familiar with the details of these heroic lives, we might imagine something quite different for the life-pattern of those "Chosen" of G-d. It would be natural to imagine them blessed, serene and prosperous. It would seem natural that those who lead exemplary lives should be blessed with every conceivable good. We know, however, that this is not the case, either biblically or historically. Even the good and righteous are met by obstacles, difficulties and challenges to their lives.

The lesson of our ancestors is not that we should be G-d fearing and observant Jews in order that we may not be challenged, and that everything should go our way, but rather so that we will be prepared spiritually and morally to meet the challenge of our  lives with meaningful responses, making each response a step to greater spiritual growth.

As we seek to understand the challenges of our daily lives, a commitment to the traditional values of our people and an understanding of Torah will help us transform our struggling into a meaningful and enriching experience of purposeful action and an elevated spiritual growth.

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