A Modern Hanukkah Story

More than two thousand years ago our forefathers hid in caves to pass on the traditions of their forefathers; to teach Torah, to play dreidel and to make sure that their children never ever learn number theory, or whatever other kefirah Pythagoras was cooking up. Even back then, way before the invention of the Nobel Prize, Jews knew that their knowledge was superior to all other knowledge and even if the Greeks were building bridges and bathhouses while they were worrying about the size of an egg, well, after all, hadn’t Hashem created the Greeks to serve the Jews?

Ever since that time Jews have continued to do everything they can to keep themselves ignorant of everything while upholding the world with their vast learning. When accused of indolence they’ve continued to point to Einstein and other accomplished Jews who have won the Nobel Prize in various scientific fields as proof that we know everything there is to know without help from the goyim, thank you very much.

But now comes a new band of Helenists who are brazenly handing over the few brave Jews still hiding out in caves and playing dreidel. First there were anti-Semitic rumblings in Europe when the government started asking too many questions about yeshiva education, sticking their noses into things that are none of their business and finally announcing that they’re going to shut down Vizhnit and Satmar Cheder in Stamford Hill despite the protestations of the community elders who explained that their children receive a better education than those animals in the public schools.

Then, even more brazenly, an OTD shaygetz says he’s going to sue the NYC Department of Education for failing to ensure that all children in the city receive an education. Naturally the anti-Semites at the New York Times have jumped at the opportunity to point the finger at the superintendent of the board of education and show that he doesn’t even know the laws that require him to oversee education at yeshivas, but we’ll leave it to Pinny Lipschutz at the Yated to address that.

What I’m most impressed by is the dedication we Jews show to adhering to our traditions. While the MO in Teaneck, Manhattan and Long Island are spending $20,000 a year per kid to make sure they can get into both Yeshivat Har Etzion and Harvard, parents in Borough Park, Monsey, Williamsburg and Lakewood and spending $5,000 a year per kid to make sure they get onto government programs. Mamish a story of mesiras nefesh, truly a modern day Chanukah story.