The Burden of a Decision Part Three

Nov 30th, 2010 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays
Matityahu forced a confrontation with the Greeks. (See “The Burden of a Decision” and “The Burden of a Decision Part Two”) His representatives spoke movingly of the stories of Gideon and Mordechai. Most people were moved. Many young men stepped forward to volunteer to join the Chashmonaim. One man voiced what many wanted to say: “Why do we need to be involved?”

The answer was the same lesson that Gideon taught to those who refused to join his actions against Midian, and that Mordechai and Esther taught to their generation: “You cannot stand on the sidelines. You have to be involved. Matityahu and his sons were not fighting the Hellenists who were participating in the Greek ceremonies, but all the people who have been standing on the sidelines, refusing to take a stand. Those who refuse to take a stand are as dangerous to our future as the Hellenists.”

We began this imaginary tale with a question: How would the Chashmonaim have handled Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai’s dilemma… To Be Continued… (I would love to receive your thoughts before posting my own)

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