But look at the symbolism: The Greeks wished to upend our normality by forbidding our basic practices: keeping kosher, circumcision, traditional worship of the Divine. They attempted to seduce us into their secular practices by replacing ours with theirs. The Maccabees were instrumental in combining the two; creating a paradigm for what has become a dual structure, where we live within and without in total harmony. Chanukah is not a microcosm which celebrates a short term victory. It’s a holiday which celebrates opening a door of invitation and involvement, inviting all to enter. Where there was exclusion, we invite participation. Where there was division, we open the door to partnership. Jacob’s family comes back together as the Jewish family restores their practices and values. As you light your candles in the waning days of this Chanukah, do so in the spirit of connecting the days of Chanukah past to the days of Chanukah yet to come. May one day’s effort have eight-fold effects.
Shabbat ShalomRabbi/Hazzan David B. Sislen