"La Autentica Odessa," by Uki Goņi, describes the author's research into the elaborate system used by the Nazis to escape defeated Germany and comfortably live in the warm welcoming arms of Argentina. He opens his powerful book with: "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in (Leonard Cohen)." Goņi discovered some cracks in the secret Odessa files, and found enough light to expose the entire system.
Light, of course, makes me think of Chanukah, the Festival of Light, and I wonder if the Maccabees would agree: Did they discover a crack in the Hellenistic culture that allowed them to uncover sufficient light to fight for their beliefs and religious freedom? I believe it was something else: They used their own inner light to crack the powerful Greek system.
It's a difference that matters. I am tempted to rip apart the cracks in the system that promises blessings from the righteous men of the generation for those who contribute to certain charities. I see a crack and want to expose the light of Judaism to all the people desperate for magical solutions for all their troubles. I read books on the Jewish approach to marriage, and see the cracks in a system lacking the sensitivity and insight that irradiates lucent wisdom on a structure challenged by complex and complicated, never before seen, problems. I understand those who want to expose the cracks in Western values so they can shine Torah's light for searchers for truth. They believe that the Maccabees found a crack and discovered light. This is not what I believe.
I am not looking for the cracks; I'm searching for light. We don't need to find cracks in other systems to discover our own light. I find light each time I stand in prayer; a light that fills me and shines out. I stand in the glare of the Torah's wisdom and allow it to permeate my being, so I can share it with others. It is that light that pierces a world darkened by conflict, misology, turgid fare, misanthropy, mawkish observance, and hidebound attitudes. I treasure and joyously celebrate that light. I see it in the brilliant sensitivity of Halachah, the illuminating rays of the prayers, and the shining treasures of generations of teachers examining and applying the lessons of the Bible, Talmud, Midrash and Zohar.
Thank you for the privilege of sharing this light with you through The Foundation Stone. May we all be blessed with a world illuminated with truth, love, and kindness. Please help us continue to shine by making your year-end tax-deductible contribution to The Foundation Stone. Please, it makes a huge difference.
Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg
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