3. Your friend is miserable; and you are experiencing a lot of trouble, too. She just lost her beloved husband to cancer (may G-d protect us); and there is a terrible crisis of financial ruin in your own family. What are you going to do to help her?
a. Although agonizing over your own family’s situation, and allowing yourself to feel it, you pray for her and stay faithfully by her side as quiet, comforting presence. You are a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen… sometimes what a mourner needs the most.
b. You go out of your way to help your friend, to take care of her practical and spiritual needs in this incredibly difficult time; you ensure you are there for her personally, but are also thinking big, organizing local rotations to provide meals, check in on her, make a minyan during Shivah and recite Kaddish, etc. You are even inspired to help establish a grassroots organization for the support and comfort of widows, so that others too may benefit. You forbid yourself to become submerged in your own fears – you’re a warrior – and launch into positive action. Performing this chessed, you find strength, your own grief resultingly melting away by the fire of purpose.
c. You’re a naturally outgoing person. You bravely set aside your own pain, and you soothe your friend with charming solace, always with the right word at the right time.
d. You have a wise and parental way of advising, but you are mostly a dugmeh chaya (living example) for others – your distressed family as well those coming to comfort the mourner. You are firm and resolute to not be controlled by your challenges, and persevere in faith. Without invalidating the suffering of others, you gently remind them that they can rise above the pain, and they are subservient to none but a loving G-d Who has a purpose in bringing them here which you empower them to fulfill.
4. Which of these figuresin TaNaCH do you find most inspiring?
a. Avraham Avinu
d. Dovid Hamelech
5. Which of these groups do you think forced the worst persecution on the Jews?
a. The Germans
b. The Romans
c. The Spanish
d. The Greeks
6. You have a day of spare time on your hands. You want to do something useful or different – or maybe visit someone! How will you spend this time?
a. You go and visit a Holocaust survivor in your neighborhood, and listen to their life stories. They, their wisdom and values, and their miraculous stories of survival, are very precious to you.
b. You go and volunteer at the nearby military post, given the chance. You boldly venture out to help with odd jobs, and talk to the soldiers if possible. You love the thrill of ‘being in the army’, but deeply appreciate the incredible responsibility and sacrifice of the soldiers… and the responsibility that you are given.
c. You are the artistic type, and enjoy spending the day at a creative club. You are not afraid to try new things, and are very imaginative; you have an eye for detail, a gift with words, or a talent in acting.
d. You write an influential essay, and plan for a chance to share it with others at a venue.
7. At a public convention, a certain individual rumored to be of anti-Semitic persuasion (and known to be highly critical of people of faith in general), approaches the Jewish delegation whom you are among. As he addresses you, his aggression is rising to the point of threatening… How do you react?
a. Ignore his desire to get a rise out of you, even if he’s making you uncomfortable. YOUR faith is set in stone.
b. You are furious; he has no right to desecrate Hashem’s Name and honor! Not caring what he or others might think, you heatedly respond in defense of Torah. Also always prepared, and now concerned for yours and others’ safety, you rapidly strategize a defense or assault on the spot…just in case.
c. You are aware of the general rule to avoid mixing with bad people or arguing with a fool; but now, you maintain your composure and muster the courtesy to give a clear-cut, tactful response cutting off loopholes for further criticism (at least in this dialogue), catching him off-guard and defusing his ire.
d. Your actions and emotions would be a mix of all of these.
8. Which aspect of Chanukah do you find the most inspirational?
a. The heroes’ willingness to put their lives on the line for G-d, for Torah, and for their People
b. Miraculously overcoming the odds; Jewish survival (both physical and spiritual)
c. The integral role of Jewish women and their powerful influence in this formative chapter of our history
d. Sanctification of Hashem’s Holy Name in a time of great challenge, unholiness and darkness
You are most like Chana the Martyr!
You are sensitive to suffering and your heart goes out in deep compassion to those in pain, thus making you an extraordinary help and support to others in their difficult times. Sometimes your approach may be a more passive one, but this too is beautiful; and in our world of increasing speed and chaos, you serve as an example of how to listen and feel – with true empathy, and quiet strength. You are graced with this tenderness, but also deep within you are armed with steely determination, to aid others and serve G-d fittingly and faithfully… even if it means subjecting yourself to discomfort at times, or missing out on certain pleasures. Your faith and devotion are strong and cannot be easily broken; with self-sacrifice, you are willing to do the right thing even if the way there is painful. Just keep in mind: When you dedicate so much of your life to others, don’t forget you must take the time and energy to take proper care of yourself, physically and spiritually, too! Read Chana’s full story, here (reader discretion advised; verbal imagery, as this story is a sad one, is graphic and may be disturbing. An adult may like to overlook or sit with younger children prior to reading.)