Exclusive— Shmuley Boteach on Hanukkah: ‘Longevity of the Jewish People Is Itself a Testament to God’

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach introduces New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie at Chabad House at Rutgers University, where both men expressed their opposition to President Obama's Iran deal on August 25, 2015 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Christie and Boteach also also encouraged U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) …
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Shmuley Boteach, rabbi and author of Kosher Hate: How To Fight Jew-Hatred, Racism, and Bigotrydescribed the continuity of Jewish people as proof of the divine hand in an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak.

Pollak remarked, “There’s something about the mystery of Jewish survival in this Hanukkah holiday. What can we learn about that? How is it that Jews were celebrating this miraculous survival thousands of years ago — and we’re still celebrating it today — when many other civilizations [and] empires have come and gone, and there’s almost no trace of them except what we find in archaeological records or what was preserved by other civilizations?”

Boteach replied, “The survival [and] continuity of the Jewish people against all odds, for many people, is proof positive that there is a God. The longevity of the Jewish people is itself a testament to God because we are the most persecuted of all nations.”

Boteach linked Adolf Hitler’s genocidal pursuit against Jews to Roman emperors Hadrian, Titus, and Vespasian.

“We’re still here, and Rome is a footnote in history,” he said. “Greece, Athens, and Sparta are footnotes in history, and the Jewish people remain the most influential nation of all time.”

Influential Jews had bent history’s arc in both moral and immoral dimensions, Boteach observed. Perfection of the human condition can only come to pass through providence, he held.

Yoav Lemmer-Pool/Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon takes part in the lighting of the second Hanukkah candle at his Jerusalem offices December 26, 2005, in Jerusalem, Israel. (Yoav Lemmer-Pool/Getty)

He considered, “Look at the influence we’ve had, from Christianity to Islam and through all the isms — whether it’s some good, some bad political ideologies that were birthed by this Jewish reach for a utopia. Now, we believe that the only utopia can happen in the Messianic era guided by God. Whenever human beings have tried to bring about utopia through communism, etcetera, a perfect workers’ paradise, it’s led to tyranny. It has to be done through God’s grace and not just by human striving.”

He added, “The Jewish people are an immensely influential nation, and we gave the world the Ten Commandments, we gave the world the belief in ethical monotheism, that laws be rooted in the absolute morality that comes from biblical authority.”

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