Not every citizen of Judea was passive. Eliezer, a priest, refused to abandon his Jewish beliefs, and was put to death. Hanna, a simple Jewish women, watched her seven sons put to death for refusing to surrender their heritage. Many women circumcised their sons and died for having done so. Yehudit used cunning tactics to assassinate a Seleucid general. However, the big trouble for the Seleucids began in the village of Mod'in. With an aged priest's cry of, "Whoever is for G‑d, follow me!" the fight for religious freedom began.


King Solomon writes, "Everything has its season: A time to be born, a time to die; a time for war, a time for peace." Truth does not lie at any extreme, but in a wise and careful balance. In Judaism, peace is the ultimate ideal. Yet, if one is being attacked, Jewish law forbids a passive stance. Peace and the sanctity of humanity requires, at times, that one must defend oneself, family, and country. We must not only work to build a world of light, peace and freedom; we must also defend it.

At the time of the ancient Greeks, the world could tolerate evil. Not so today. Human technology has reached a point where humanity can no longer coexist with evil and survive.

At one time, the state of technology was such that the most lethal weapon known to humankind was a wooden stick with a sharp stone tied to one end of it. Eventually, the most lethal weapon was a stick of TNT with a fuse lit at one end of it. Until recently, it was a missile with a nuclear device at one end of it.

Today? A comb with a razor blade tied to one end of it?

No. Today, the state of technology is such that the most lethal weapon of mass destruction ever created is a human being who believes that death is the gateway to paradise. Before such a creature, the security forces of the world are as tissue paper against a savage spear.

The Maccabees felt they had no choice but to stand up against the oppressor, despite all odds. Today, humanity has no choice but to destroy evil, whatever it takes. It is no longer a dream, but a necessity.