Hanukkah Lights

The aftermath of the story of Hanukkah (aka the Festival of Lights) is controversial. Hanukkah commemorates how the Maccabees defeated the Greek-Syrian army and regained control over the Second Temple which the Greek-Syrian oppressors had taken over and used to serve their gods. The miracle of Hanukkah was the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek-Syrian army which was much greater in numbers than they, as well as the fact that when they lit the Menorah in the Temple to rededicate the Temple toward serving HaShem, they only had enough oil for one night, but the Menorah burned for 8 nights.

This was a great victory indeed: the Greek-Syrian oppressors had tried to force Jews to drop their Jewish observance and immerse in Hellenistic culture and the Jews resisted. The Maccabees fought and the Jews won.

The controversial part was that a couple generations later, the Jews did in fact end up assimilating into Hellenistic culture.

So, many wonder how we can celebrate this victory, as it was short-term.

But isn’t that what Hanukkah is all about? Light within Darkness?

This victory in history created a light. That light continues to shine. And it is a light from which we can get light in future generations, for all eternity.

This is well-illustrated in the following music video by the Maccabeats, a Jewish a capella group.

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights

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