Chanuka, Education & Inspiration
From: Alan in Brooklyn
Do the words Chanuka and Chinuch (education) have the same root? If so, what is the connection?
Yes, these words are connected. Chanuka means inauguration, as Chanuka celebrates the "Chanukat Hamizbe'ach," the re-inauguration of the altar by the Maccabees after its defilement.
Chinuch is an expression indicating the beginning of something. Thus, it means inauguration, but it also means education, which begins and initiates a person in the way that it is hoped that he will follow. As King Solomon wrote, "Chanoch l'na'ar al pi darko — teach a child according to his way."
“Chanuka” when read as two words (chanu kaf-hey) means "they encamped on the 25th," indicating that that the Maccabees were victorious in battle and rested from their enemies on the 25th of Kislev.
- Rashi, Tractate Shavuot 15a
From: Josh in Melbourne
I just wanted to ask you a few questions about Chanuka. Why is Chanuka so important? What is the main feature of Chanuka? What do you think would happen if the Greeks were successful in the battle against the Maccabees? Why were the Maccabees chosen to fight the Greeks? Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
Chanuka is so important because it means the victory of Torah over Greek philosophy.
Unlike previous pagan ideas so revolting to Jews, Greek paganism was bound up with beauty, art and philosophy. Therefore, it captured the imagination of many Jews. Many Jews became "Greekified," or "Hellenists."
This may surprise you, but the Greeks did win. You see, there was a battle and there was a war. The Maccabees won the battle and were able to hold on for a while but eventually they succumbed to Pompeii's conquest 80 years later.
But the miracle of the oil inspired us to realize that
Why the Maccabees? Because their father Mattityahu possessed faith in