American Jews' Hanukkah Celebrations
At the turn of the previous century a Chassidic Rebbe (doesn't
matter which, the story is fiction) saw in a vision what was going
to happen to European Jewery in the next 50 years.
Shocked, he takes it upon himself to fast days and pray nights to
see what he could do to avoid the upcomming catastrophe.
Finally, Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah the Prophet) appears to him. "Rest,
my son. Because what you saw was already decreed 'from behind the
"But", the Rebbe argues, "What about Yiddishkeit (Judaism)? How
will Jewry and the Torah survive?"
Eliyahu answers, "Before the decree, G-d prepares the cure. Already
He is getting America ready to host a new golden age in Jewish
history. Here, let me show you."
In a flash, the Eliyahu and the Rebbe are on a street corner in a
suburb of New York, in our day. It's Chanukah, and there are menorahs
in every window. There's a synagogue, with a sign in front anouncing
a Chanukah party.
"Incredible!" the Rebbe exclaims. "If this is what they do for
Chanukah, just picture how the Jews of America must celebrate
PS: For those who aren't Jewish, Chanukah is a relatively minor
holiday in the Jewish calendar. Its prominence in the American Jewish
mindscape is because of a need to have a surrogate Christmas, or
perhaps just something to cheer us up during the darkness of winter.
Shavuos, OTOH, is a biblical holiday, just as important as Passover.