Most Jewish holidays can be broken down into the following phrase: “they tried to kill us. They failed. Let’s eat”.
Hanukkah is no different.
Though it can be described as a war story, it’s much more than a story of war. It’s a story about a small band of rebels who fought against an empire who would happily see the Jews completely assimilated into their world.
In 2019, I feel like this message, even after thousands of years, has so much power. It’s easy to assimilate, to become like your neighbors. It’s harder to be yourself, even if that means being different and possibly ostracized.
During this time of year, it would be easier to buy a tree, decorate your house in lights, sing Christmas Carols and appear to be like your neighbors. I would rather not. I am a Jew, I am proud of it and my menorah is on display for all who would like to see it.
For all who celebrate, have a Happy Hanukkah!