Between the reign of Alexander the Great and the establishment of the Hasmonean dynasty, Jewish leaders are forced to make historic sacrifices for their religious freedom and authority. Under Greek influence and oppression, these heroes stand up for their Jewish values to the point of death, and people like Matityahu and Yehudah Hamaccabi, and Hannah and her seven sons, are memorialized for centuries afterwards. Many wars are fought and conflicts abound even within the community- but the Jewish people persevere, fighting for their religious and political freedom.
Jewish Historian Josephus writes that “Because two brothers could not get along, we lost our freedom and liberty to Rome.” Do you agree? What for you is the ultimate message of Hanukkah?