As Christians all over the world celebrated their Christmas, the Jewish people celebrated their Chanukah festival - a feast commemorating the Maccabean miracle, when a the small quantity of consecrated oil found within the Temple precincts, although only enough for one day, burned for eight. It happened at the time when the Hellenistic Syrians tried to eradicate the Jewish religion and thus bring the whole region under the sway of their kingdom. (See Geoffrey Wigoder, The Encyclopedia of Judaism.)

Not much has changed. Today's nations also wants to bring the tiny nation of Israel under their "worldly supervision," denying them the right to live as believing Jews on their own, God-given land; or to worship God on the ancient Temple Mount, desecrated now by those who call for the destruction of the Jewish race: Itbach al Yahud (slaughter the Jews!).

As Israel's government prepares to obey the dictates of this Hellenistic world and forcefully remove their own people from their own, God-given soil, one young Israeli wrote this heart-rending letter to his prime minister:

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Office of the Prime Minister
19 12 03/Erev Chanukah/Shabbat 5764
Dear Prime Minister Sharon,
You don't know me.  I am 23 years old, a member of the IDF Paratroop unit No. *** which just spent two days and two nights in Shechem.  As you know from the report of our Defense Minister Mofaz, our units engaged terrorists in the Kasbah area of Shechem successfully, in erasing these terrorists from further life to cause death to the Jews of Israel.
I did not sleep both nights as we continued going house to house, at times via the walls between the houses, in order to find, arrest, and kill the terrorists.  We found one terrorist who was fully 'dressed' in his bomb belt along with his suicide note and video.  This terrorist was planning to blow himself up in Hadera yesterday according to my commander.  We were able to blow him up first.  I know you are very familiar with the turf in Shechem as I have read books on your heroism and military actions over your 50 years of service to our country.
I have one more month left in my IDF service.  The years combined in the IDF together with my Hesder yeshiva learning years have given me the opportunity to serve G-d and my nation.  As I arrived home today for Chanukah and 36 hours of rest and relaxation here in Migron, I am reading today's papers that describe your intent to destroy Jewish homes and transfer Jews out of their home and land here.
I have spent the last few years going from the Beit Midrash where I am able to learn Tanach and Gemora to my IDF Paratroop unit.  I have fought in Jenin after Passover 2002, I have been the recipient of shelling from terrorists near Kfar Darom in the Gaza area.  I am now 'fresh' from the front line this week in Shechem. 
I am trying to prepare my little menorah, oil, and wicks for tonight's first candle to commemorate Chanukah's miracles and our victory over the enemies and Hellenists amongst us.   My mother will light the Shabbat candles a few minutes after my father and I and my four siblings light our Chanukah menorah tonight.
We are going to the synagogue, past the health care center, near the kindergartens and homes which Defense Minister Mofaz signed off permits for all of these places in Migron.  I am sure that you have seen his approvals which are reprinted in today's HATZOFEH and other newspapers.   My cousin, David, is a member of the Magavnikim unit of the Israeli Police.   Tonight he and his family are joining us in Migron for Shabbat Chanukah.
Mr. Prime Minister, on Sunday morning, I will return to my IDF unit in Shechem, searching for more Chanukah enemies in the Kasbah, risking my life for the lives of others whom we don't want to be blown up by terrorists in restaurants, malls, and buses.  My cousin, David, has been 'training' for the removal of Jews from their homes.  He tells me that in the next few weeks, his unit and other IDF units will be entering Jewish homes to take Jews out of their homes in Israel.   David's mother and my father are siblings.
David could be assigned to Migron after Chanukah to join the orders to remove Jews from their homes.  David could be assigned to move out our neighbors or his uncle and aunt, my parents.   I will be in Shechem removing terrorists from their holes and homes, looking for bombs and bullets.  You, Mr. Prime Minister, for whatever reasons from the USA or other minority members of your government, will be overseeing removal and transfer of Jews while I, as your soldier of the IDF will be chasing terrorists.
As soon as I hear that Migron, my home, will be the target of your Jew transfer, I will leave my unit in Shechem which I know will get me jail time, and head to Migron.  I will not use my hands or feet to touch one fellow soldier or policeman.  My rabbanim at the hesder yeshiva have already warned us that we cannot lift a hand to a fellow Jewish soldier.   I will join thousands of other Jews to block peacefully and according to law, the removal of my parents and siblings from our home in Migron.  
I may 'face' my cousin face to face when you give the order to his unit to remove me and my family.  Mr. Sharon, I would like you to witness the transfer of Jews, first cousins, and uncles and aunts as David approaches my home.   David will be ordered to take Jews out of their homes in my town of Migron, from the same home which David and his family and mine will share Chanukah divrei Torah tonight.
I know that you have pressure from the world to give it all back and give in to terrorists.  It makes me wonder why I am chasing, killing, and arresting terrorists in Shechem last week and again on Sunday.   David and I and our parents will light a Chanukah candle tonight on a day filled with rain, storms, thunder and lightning in Jerusalem and Migron.   The 134 of us here in Migron will sing Ma OzTzur and add "Al Hanisim" to our prayers starting tonight in the synagogue, next to the health center, next to the kindergarten building.   By the way, Defense Minister Mofaz' approvals were blown up in large print and are posted everywhere here.
I am sure you are busy after last night's speech and preparing your Chanukah parties with your sons.  I appreciate the time if you read my letter.  You will probably see my face when David, my cousin, will carry me away with the other family members per your dream of transferring Jews out of their homes in Israel.   You may even see some tears on David's face that might mix with my tears and add to the 'raindrops' of cries on this Chanukah in Migron.
Chanukah Sameach,
IDF Paratrooper

(Translated from Hebrew by Harvey Tannenbaum, Moshe's 2nd cousin)

Perhaps nothing shows better, than this cry from Moshe's heart, why it is that we as believers from all over the world feel the need, and sense the call of God, to stand up for these, our Maccabee-like brothers, in their fight against nearly all the world to hold onto their God and the land and destiny He promised to them.

May we indeed stand with them at such a time as this!

Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director
International Christian Zionist Center

May God help us especially during this coming year 2004
to stand with His beleaguered nation Israel - His chosen few.


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