Some Israelites assimilated into the Greek culture by….
· Taking on Greek names
· Marrying non-Israelites
· Wearing Greek clothing
Antiochus outlawed observances such as…
· Torah studying under penalty of death
The Maccabees cleansed the temple and rededicated it on the 25th day of Kislev, exactly 3 years after it was defiled.
The real miracle of Hanukkah is the resilience, strength, survival and triumph of our ancestors, the Maccabees. They fought a bitter and deadly fight, and prevailed over the strongest army of their time, the Greeks, who vigorously tried to force them to turn away from practicing and honoring the commandments of God. Although the Maccabees triumphed over evil many years ago, the same war continues today as we struggle to be resilient, to be strong, to survive and ultimately be triumphant in these trying times.
We must stress the importance of this miracle during these unsettled times and commit to do what is right before God. Let us recreate the sacrifices our ancestors made to preserve what they considered their ideal. Our dedication must be visible, both felt and seen, in our words and our deeds.
May the true meaning of Hanukkah shine from our personal sanctuary as we commit to usher in a better place for all of us.
“Let’s not allow our ancestors’ hard vigorous fight and death to be in vain.”
“Hold onto your teachings, never submit to the assimilated majority, no matter how numerous or sophisticated they are, and fight for your ideals”.
“Figure out what you are willing to die for…. Then live for it.”
I pray you had a meaningful holiday and was able to celebrate with gladness and joy.
(The excerpts for these eight days were taken from "The Eight Day of Hanukkah" compiled by yours truly. Please feel free to order your complete copy.)