resist tyranny

via @ExurbanKevin; and h/t to Tammy for retweeting the pic

One morning a few weeks ago, while having our coffee and checking the morning headlines, my husband suddenly put down his newspaper.

“He’s a tyrant. He’s dismantling the whole country. This is like a bad dream that keeps getting worse.”

I nodded. We were having many such conversations lately.

Last Wednesday, at sundown, the holiday of Chanukah began.

An eight-day holiday commemorating a miracle that had taken place in 2nd century BCE Judea, which at that time had been ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks) under Antiochus Epiphanes. When the Jews were forbidden to practice their religious way of life, a rebellion broke out, and after several years of battles, the vastly-outnumbered Jews defeated the Syrian-Greek army and became independent. When the Jews entered the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been defiled by their enemy, they found only one day’s worth of undefiled oil in which to relight the menorah (candelabrum). It would take another eight days to prepare more oil. But miraculously, the one-day supply of oil lasted eight days, and it signified to them that God was with them.

On Wednesday, as it turned dark, we placed our menorah by the window, and we lit the first candle (every night adding a candle).

I stood for awhile, watching the candle’s flame.

It felt strange to use the word “tyrant” to describe our current POTUS. Tyrants are supposed to be in history books: Antiochus, Titus, Hitler, Stalin.

Not here.

I felt deflated.

As Pat_S noted on the blog:

We are at the edge of the abyss.

via Wall Street Journal: Religious Liberty and Obamacare

…. Americans of all faiths or even no faith were shocked by the Obama Administration’s treatment of religious institutions not because they share their moral qualms about paying for birth control. Most don’t. But the Constitution is supposed to guard minority views, especially religious faith and conduct….

The Obamacare mandate never should have happened under both the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which requires the federal government to meet a higher legal standard for any law that interferes with religious liberty. Regulations must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest and be the “least burdensome” option….

The White House is also deploying its usual legal disinformation. Because the “accommodation” applies to nonprofit entities only, it claims that the Hobby Lobby and the other plaintiffs are asking the Court to allow for-profit businesses to “ban” contraception for their employees. (This is similar to its distortion in the 2012 campaign that by supporting religious conscience Republicans were trying to outlaw contraception.)

In the current cases these distinctions between corporate forms are meaningless. The Constitution’s free-exercise clause does not evaporate when someone forms a faith-based for-profit corporation. Can the government compel a Jewish deli not to be kosher? The radical implication of the White House argument is that the Constitution doesn’t apply to commercial activity.

If the mandate is overturned, birth control will continue to be widely available and at low cost for all Americans. Nine of 10 health plans already cover contraception, and business owners would gain no right to interfere with the choice of their workers to use or not use it. But no one would be required by law to violate their deepest religious convictions.

These cases won’t overturn ObamaCare, alas. But they are an overdue opportunity for the Supreme Court to restore the inalienable rights being trampled by the raw political coercion of the health-care law. The tragedy is that so many Americans needed to sue the government to practice their moral beliefs.

On Wednesday night, I watch the flame awhile longer.

Then, I enter the chat room, before Tammy Radio begins.

I feel less deflated now.

And listening to Tammy, I feel energized and empowered.

In one month, 2014 will be here. There is much work to be done, to keep the House. And take back the Senate.

Tonight, the sixth night of Chanukah, Jews around the world will place their menorahs in their windows and light six candles.

We have survived.

So too, here in the U.S., “a nation blessed,” we will all survive our #EpicFail little tyrant-wannabe.

We have survived much worse.

Happy holiday season to all.

Related: (Note: In answer to the age-old question: “What is the correct spelling of the word ‘Chanukah’?” The answer is: No one knows. So, pick one, and just go with it 🙂 )

Breitbart: Hanukkah and the Tea Party: Judas Maccabee’s Challenge to Conservative Leaders

LA Times: 1993 religious freedom act is at heart of contraception case

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13 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Kitten says:

    As usual, Shifra, your personal story is quite moving. And, just as your namesake in Exodus 1 defied Pharaoh by not killing the male born children of Israel; we (America) will survive this tyrant. I thought it very poignant that I was reading the story of Exodus this morning…and now this post. 🙂

  2. Colette says:

    Well said.It helps to have the community of TAMS,Happy Hanukkah.

  3. Pat_S says:

    Carl Sandburg’s epic prose-poem, The People, Yes, is one of my favorites. It was written during the Depression years. Although the poem relates to Sandburg’s beliefs about economic inequality, the sentiments speak to the triumph of the human spirit over great hardships of all kinds.


    The people will live on.
    The learning and blundering people will live on.
    They will be tricked and sold and again sold
    And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,
    The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,
    You can’t laugh off their capacity to take it.
    The mammoth rests between his cyclonic dramas.
    The people so often sleepy, weary, enigmatic,
    is a vast huddle with many units saying:
    “I earn my living.
    I make enough to get by
    and it takes all my time.
    If I had more time
    I could do more for myself
    and maybe for others.
    I could read and study
    and talk things over
    and find out about things.
    It takes time.
    I wish I had the time.”
    . . .
    The people know the salt of the sea
    and the strength of the winds
    lashing the corners of the earth.
    The people take the earth
    as a tomb of rest and a cradle of hope.
    Who else speaks for the Family of Man?
    They are in tune and step
    with constellations of universal law.
    . . .
    In the darkness with a great bundle of grief the people
    In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the
    people march:
    “Where to? what next?”

    How long will the people rest?

  4. Di Grace says:

    Thank you for your moving article Shifra. In Chanukah there is a remembrance of God’s Sovereignty over all this world and His evident love for His people.

    After a little research I found something that may help those of us who like to spell correctly. 16 ways to spell Chanukah:
    Happy Hanukkah!

  5. littlefirefly says:

    What an inspired, serious letter which gives us all much to contemplate. Thank you.

  6. LJZumpano says:

    Cool title Shifra, “reflections”, you need light for a reflection. and this year the lights of Hanukkah will be followed by those of the Advent wreath and then all those Christmas lights and then the explosive fireworks of New Year’s Eve. The winter of our discontent is ablaze with light! And then in 2014 each of us in our own way will bring our own little light into play to illuminate the good, the bad and the ugly. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”

  7. Alain41 says:

    Kirsten Powers discussed last Sunday, how she changed from atheism to Christianity. I don’t know when she changed, but does explain why she can appear on FNC. Short article, worth a read. (also a video clip)
    “…“It was a world that was completely new to me. It was a world where most of the people I came in contact with were conservative….”

  8. vitadMD says:

    Dear, dear Shifra… Thank you for sharing this remarkable photograph – an image with a profound message and interesting story of defiance. Fortunately, the provenance of the photo is known and is deserving of proper attribution. For anyone interested…

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