Happy Chanukah

We hope everyone had a happy Chanukah (or however you like to spell it).  In addition to lighting at home, there was a large public menorah lit in downtown Lowell outside city hall.

Chanukah is a celebration of the defeat of the Greeks and Helenists (Jews who became Greek) by a handful of Jewish fighters led in rebellion by Matisyahu and his sons including Judah Macabee, who became the fighting leader.  The Greeks forbad all Jewish activities, including Temple service, circumcision, and studying Torah, and required Jews to serve idols instead.  Unlike Haman who wanted to kill the Jews in body, the Greeks wanted to kill the Jews in spirit and turn them into Greeks.  Matisyahu and his family were Kohanim and, like the others who joined them, they didn’t have weapons or knowledge of warfare, but they had faith in Hashem. This handful of untrained and unarmed fighters managed to defeat Greece’s trained armies.  At the culmination was the rededicating of the Temple with the one jar of pure oil they managed to find amid the destruction and desecration. That one jar managed to last for 8 days until new pure oil could be made.