Imagine if you lived in those times.... would you have believed or followed the rebellion? If you were in Jerusalem the year after the war (166) would you kindle the candles to celebrate the newborn holiday? Would you change your traditional routine to add a new holiday?
As one twitter follower noted last night, similar sentiments are felt today regarding Israel's Independence Day (Yom Ha'atzmut). Should it be embraced without a divine sign? How can we celebrate receiving only part of the biblical territory or with such nasty neighbors? [I think it is worth noting that Yom Ha'atzmut is the first national Jewish Holiday added to the calendar since Chanukah]
I think that too often we take for granted the circumstances of the past and the adversity that was needed to overcome the challenges to effect a significant change. But looking at the candles tonight, I appreciate it more and it is something that causes me to really understand the meaning of our prayer for miracles "as they happened long ago, in today's age".
Chag Urim Sameach - Happy Chanukah!