Tonight we will turn on the 6th Hanukkah candle.

A blurred and underestimated holiday we must rediscover and whose values ​​we must protect.

The highly valued coexistence of the Jewish community in the United States and the nearness of Hanukkah and Christmas has made it a commercial opportunity to fill ourselves with gifts.

On the other hand, we place a special emphasis on lighting candles and talking about the Luminaries’ Festival recalling an anecdotal episode of the miracle that turned  the scarse  oil  to illuminate  the Temple throughout its cleaning into one longer than the energy of the Duracell Rabbit .

Does anyone remember why the Temple had to be “cleaned”?

The true value of this wonderful holiday must be made clear more and more.

In the year 167 Before the Common Era, those who came to the Holy Land were not Greeks but Seleucids.  It wasn’t the Hellenic culture but the Hellenistic one.

The Greek Confederation had its heyday centuries before that. Its geography meant that they were never a unit but a Confederation of City-States in which none ruled over the others. Up north, the Kingdom of Macedonia whose people were considered barbarians and savages, was under the orders of King Philippo, whom set up onto his son Alexander III the foundations of a great empire that soon conquered the peoples of Egypt, Asia Minor, Babylon, Persia and reached up to India.

Alexander did not want to impose any culture but  his empire to be recognized.  He  appreciated local cultures. And not only that,  he also grabbed what seemed  new and useful  from all the cultures he knew.

The convertion of the Hellenic (Greek) culture into Hellenistic was the result of all the cultures  Alexander’s followers took over along their path.

Alexander’s life ended abruptly, letting the empire be divided  among his generals.  Seleucus was left in command of Syria and  his descendants, not less than a century and a half later,  those who tried to conquer us.

His arrival was not like Alexander’s, peaceful and respectful of local cultures but quite the opposite.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes starred with the Hebrews a clash of cultures that could be compared to  Spanish arrival in America.

Polytheists who find a stubbornly monotheistic people.

Gods reflected in sculptures, reliefs and paintings are rejected by an invisible and omniscient one who refuses the images.

The reason for man to be in the world, according to the Hellenists, is to beautify and enjoy the world.  The Hebrews consider their mission to sanctify and improve the world.

The Temple is transformed into an altar to Zeus and the synagogues become gymnasiums, where the body is cultivated but not the spirit.

The invaders had a real considerable force, unstoppable, with troops of more than 100,000 men, and the defense had only 13,000.   Almost 10 times less.   The Hellenistic troops came with 20,000 horsemen, assault chariots and elephants brought from India.

The story of the liberating feat of  Maccabees, dear reader, I leave it for another time.   Meanwhile  you can enjoy “My Glorious Brothers” by Howard Fast.

But, Hebrew victory over that danger is not minor.

What the Seleucids wanted to kill were not the Jews.  It was the very concept of Judaism.   As long as the cultural change was accepted, they had no interest at all in a slaughter.

My warning in this chronicle is for us to reflect on who won that battle.

If the very notion of  Hanukkah festivity is to value the beautiness of lighting candles or giving gifts over the survival value of our culture and the value of freedom.

If what’s left of the year you dedicate to beautify the world or go to the gym or dedicate to sports or to sanctify  and improve it for future generations.

If your mission in this world is to enjoy what it  can give  and you can take today and only today,  giving yourself pleasure or to work for a better humanity, a better environment and a better spirituality.

If you see yourself reflected in the former one, you have been the victim of a robbery without having realized of it.

If your identification is in the last one, I wish you a wonderful Festivity of the Luminaries.

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