|Celebrating the 8th Night of Chanukah|
The simple fact that the Jewish Holiday of Chanukah and the Christian holiday of Christmas come in the same season get people very mixed up. There is no theological nor historic connection between the two. Nowadays it has become customary to give gifts on both of the holidays, so stores market to both Jews and Christians, and that's it.
The Jewish Holiday of Chanukah celebrates a victory over the Greeks who had not only invaded and occupied the Jewish Historical Land, but they did everything they could to prevent the Jewish People from observing the Jewish Religion.
In modern terminology, the Greek "policy" should be considered immoral and against human, civil and religious rights, but in the shadow of the recent United Nations Security Council Resolution and the outrageous and notorious speech by lame duck Obama's lame duck Secretary of State Kerry, and remembering how the "free world" ignored the Nazi Holocaust against European Jewry...
The Story of Chanukah, which happened only a century or two before the beginning of Christianity, is beginning to sound rather modern.
In the second century BCE, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of mitzvah observance and belief in G‑d. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G‑d. (Chabad)Few Jews fought the Greeks, because many were assimilated. The Maccabees had no allies, no help. It was a miracle that the small band of fighters defeated the mighty Greeks. When things looked black, Gd came in and lit the world. This is so much like the 1967 Six Days War, when small, weak Israel with indefensible borders, was threatened with, destruction, and the United Nations quickly followed Egypt's demands and took away their peacekeeping forces. Then the world patiently watched, expecting the Arab armies to destroy Israel. Jews all over the world prayed for Israel's survival--a victory, and Gd made a miracle.
Yes, those wars were very similar, from the Jewish isolation to the illogical and inexplicable military victory.
There's one big difference. The Maccabees rushed to the Holy Temple and consecrated it as quickly as they possibly could. They recognized that their victory was due to Gd Almighty and not any human prowess. Here in Israel, June 1967, as soon as the proverbial dust began to settle after the State of Israel's great miraculous victory the government, instead of inviting the Jewish Nation to ascend Har Habayit, the Temple Mount and pray together to Gd to thank Him, gave the key back to the Muslims and then thanked the IDF for the victory.
That is why the United Nations, the United States, the European Union etcetera keep insisting that we must give the fruits of that miraculous 1967 victory, including Jerusalem, to the Arab terrorists for a state they want to call Palestine, sic.
Going back to the Chanukah story, the rule of the Maccabees didn't last very long, which is why the Romans ended up here and Christianity began... So, it seems we're still fighting the same war. Gd keeps giving us chances. And now I hope that Prime Minister Netanyahu has gotten sufficiently angry and disgusted enough to recognize that his trying to be a reasonable "Centrist" isn't working. We need a zealot who only tries to please Gd.
Gd willing, speedily in our time...