Sunday night Jews across the world will gather to light the first candle on their Menorah's as the celebration of Hannukah begins. Today, more than 2,000 years later,
the story of Hannukah remains timeless.
The Jewish people revolted because
they were being persecuted due to their religion. With courage and perseverance, they stood up to tyranny. The odds were not in their favor, but it did not deter their commitment to fight for their right to freely practice their religion.
Religious freedom still remains in jeopardy today. Anti-semitism is on the rise in the U.S. and Europe. According to a recent report by CNN anti-Semitic stereotypes are alive and well in Europe, while a third of Europeans in the poll said they knew just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust.
In our country, the separation between government and religion
ensures that government will not interfere in the practice of our religion.
Rachel Laser, president of Americans United, said: "
The separation of church and state means that we don't base public policy on the Bible or any religious book.
"Yet Trump and his officials use fundamentalist biblical interpretations to support everything from environmental deregulation to tax cuts.
We count on the courts to ensure our religious rights. Therefore it is alarming - and dangerous - when US. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has
said that judges needed a "biblical view of justice" and questioned the judgment of secular lawyers. He has even gone as far as wanting to block non-religious people from judicial appointments. This week religious and secular groups have called on him to step down for these views
We have seen throughout history what occurs when courts do not protect minorities, use religion as a sword, and act as a political tool.
The Maccabees fought on the battlefield for their religious freedom and refused to stop until they won. Today we fight at the ballot box.
The story of Hannukah inspires us to
rededicate our work to protect our values. Stay involved with JAC.
Do you know a high school or college student who would like to intern at JAC during the school year or next summer? Call the JAC office at 847.433.5999 about opportunities.