Posted on December 23rd, 2008 by Rabbi
It is taught that the Jewish people were redeemed from slavery in Egypt because they did not change their names, abandoned their language or practiced immorality. It is so hard for many Jewish people to hold fast to the beliefs of our ancestors. Today many have changed their names so as not to be identified as Jewish, many can’t even say simple prayers in loshon haKodesh, Hebrew, and they often get involved in behavior and popular causes that are contrary to the Jewish way of life.
We are in the midst of celebrating Chanukah, a holiday to remember the fight for religious freedom. Yet so many of our people are lost in the ways of Mitzrayim (Egypt) and the philosophies of the Syrian-Greeks of ages ago. Could we fight an effective battle today against the prevailing popular values of society? Where are the leaders of our people that could rally them behind the banner of Jewish values, Torah, service, and charitable acts? Technology has changed, but the threat to the Jewish people and their faith is the same as it was over two millenia ago.
So many young people have come and said, “I went to religious school and hated it!” If they are not taught basic religious values and exposed to the wonder, the beauty and mystery of their beliefs, how can they grow? It reminds me of an encounter of a young man who wanted to find meaning in this confusing time…
Out of Your Own Egypt