Thoughts on Chanukah: No Maccabees, No Miracle - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Thoughts on Chanukah: No Maccabees, No Miracle

In light of the fact that I have just written an article about my twelve favorite Christmas songs, I would be remiss if I didn’t write something about Chanukah as it begins tonight at sundown.

For those unfamiliar with Chanukah, it is The Festival of Lights. When the Maccabees regained control of the Second Temple in Jerusalem from Antiochus of the Seleucid Empire in 164 B.C., there was only enough oil to light the Temple for one night. Instead, the Temple remained lit for eight nights. Hence the reason for the Menorah to be lit on eight nights.

Consider this editorial comment in the online encyclopedia Judaism 101 regarding Chanukah, “Note that the holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil, not the military victory. Jews do not glorify war.”

Yet I think that misses the point. It’s true that Chanukah isn’t a celebration of the military victory. Yet without regaining control of the Second Temple from the Greeks and Syrians, Jews are still prohibited from observing their religious customs while being compelled to worship false idols not to mention the slaughter of pigs at the altar of the Second Temple. If there is no revolt against Hellenism then Judaism could have have been significantly altered or disappeared altogether.

Or let me put it more succinctly: No Maccabees, no miracle.

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