December 21, 2003

WHAT IS REVEALED:

What is Chanukah? (Paul Greenberg, December 21, 2003, Townhall)

Chanukah isn't mentioned in the Old Testament. The story of battles and victories has been relegated to the Apocrypha. A mere military victory rates only a secondary place in the canon. It is not celebrated for its own sake but for what it reveals.

A violent confrontation is lifted out of history, and enters the realm of the sacred. A messy little guerrilla war in the dim past of a forgotten empire has become something else, something that partakes of the eternal. For only the spiritual victories last.

The central metaphor of all religious belief - revealing light - now blots out all the imperial intrigues and internecine warfare. And that may be the greatest miracle of Chanukah: the transformation of that oldest and darkest of human activities, war, into a feast of illumination. [...]

But if there is one constant message associated with this holiday, it can be found in the weekly portion of the Prophets chosen to be read on the Jewish Sabbath. And over the centuries, the scripture for the Sabbath of Chanukah has remained unchanged: Zechariah 4:1-7, with its penultimate verse:

Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.

Exactly.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 21, 2003 6:45 AM
Comments

The Books of the Maccabees make interesting reading reading. (noting that one man's apocrapha may be anouter man's canon). It turns out that the evil Antiochus was untimately overcome by a combination of miraculous intervention and a little help from Judea's good buddies, THE ROMANS. It's all in there, just open any Roman Catholic copy of Sacred Scripture.

Posted by: Lou Gots at December 22, 2003 7:24 PM
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