…When the Maccabees reached Jerusalem, they found the Holy Temple desecrated and defiled. In the face of this utter debasement of their values and beliefs, the Maccabees once again rose beyond the laws of logic, and refused to light the golden Menorah with ritually impure oil — despite the fact that Torah law would have permitted them to do so. The Maccabees were absolutely determined to kindle the Menorah as perfectly as possible. So once again, God intervened in the natural order and made single jar of oil to last for eight days.
When I look at the miracle of Chanukah, I think not just of the military victory or the jug of oil which lasted eight nights. Rather, I think of the Maccabees’ courage, self-sacrifice and profound faith in God, by which they were able to accomplish the impossible.
History is not always made through acts of pragmatism or logic. History is made through heroic people who stand up and are willing to forfeit everything for what they believe.
The story of Chanukah is a call to abandon the shackles and restraints of our logic, to forget what "makes sense," and to finally fight our wars. A nuclear Iran? Poverty and domestic strife? Assimilation? The potential to attain the achievement equal to the Maccabees is within every individual. We must fight against the impossibilities, because only then can we make a difference; only then can we actually change history. Our personal history, and that of the entire world.
Let’s see. A little fairy tale about oil, invented by rabbis to shift the emphasis of Hanukka away from the Maccabee’s military victories* (and the Sages lack of leadership and participation in same) now becomes the justification for acting rashly – and perhaps fatally.
This Aish piece sounds like a call for suicide bombers. Rabbi Noach Weinberg should be ashamed.
*Contrary to the haredi spin, the Maccabees’ military campaign was well planned. They relied heavily on intelligence gathering and were brilliant tacticians familiar with current military theory. They were not pious fools from the Judean shtetl.