Answer: “The Greeks” is my desire to enjoy; my egoism that tells me: “Listen, you need to rely on logic and instinct. We have to live by the mind, and you have it. You can arrange life rationally, evaluating and weighing every opportunity. Be like everyone else.”
This is the Greek approach. It is correct and good, everyone likes it, and there is nothing to argue against. It is true that the world cannot realize it because our life is far from paradise. However, we simply have no other tools that are clear, true, logical, backed by science and psychology, based on a solid foundation, and understood by sense and reason.
But there is another approach: the “Maccabean.”
“No,” say the Maccabees, “we do not want to live in this way. We want to live by the laws that Abraham laid as the foundation of the Jewish people, the principle of love for the other as for oneself. This is what we must achieve.”
The Greek in me replies to this: “To be honest, you are one hundred percent right.”
But wait, how so? After all, he just stated the opposite. It turns out that both are right?
“Yes,” my Greek continues, “I would, of course, like to live according to love. But this is an unattainable utopia. Do you have a pill, which if swallowed, would ensure all the people of the earth will love each other? Can you impose unity, mutual help, mutual care, mutual guarantee, and equality everywhere? Are you able to make everyone friends?”
Thus, the problem of the Maccabees is that they are irrational and unrealistic. The same is said about the wisdom of Kabbalah: “Why is it needed? It is better to achieve real success in life. A slight interest in high matters might be useful, but to give them all of my life is too much. It isn’t logical.”
That’s why the Maccabees are initially small and weak. They have nothing that will convince me. A tiny Maccabee is hidden within me and a strong Greek is comfortably settled. What should I do? What war will occur between them?
But I receive an answer that tells me: “Even if you give up the external picture, internally you understand that there is no other way, we need to achieve full unity, which is love, so that then you will start to build the appropriate group. In it, you will attract the Light, which is a special force that is inherent in nature that you can use. You have only a small spark, but nature has a huge Light, and you can attract it to yourself.”
Then you will see that the whole world was just a theater of illusion. It will fade and dissolve; like in Hollywood movies, it will vanish and be gone. Indeed, the whole picture was imaginary.
However, this will happen under the condition that you join your spark, your candle, with the great Light that fills the world. And in order to feel the need for this, you must make efforts that are contrary to your own mind.
Question: How could I explain this to my family who are far from such thoughts when the Chanukah candles are being lit? How can they be introduced, even a little bit, to this understanding?
Answer: The Maccabees won the war against the invaders because they became united. They went to the people and managed to bring it to unity.
Therefore, it is not necessary for us to bring calls for unity during war, when it is already happening. No, we must unite now and then there will be no war. By this we will neutralize all the evil forces.
So, let’s unite. What harm could there be? None. We need only to apply a little effort. That is what Chanukah tells us: by uniting, we will win our greatest victory.
From the 5th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/16/14, Writings of Rabash