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Introduction

The History of Chanukah

The Menorah Files

How to Celebrate Chanukah

Stories

Thoughts on Chanukah

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Long(er) Essays

Chanukah and Moshiach

   Just Scratch The Surface

Maccabean Faith

Looking for Moshiach in chanukah

Chasidic Discourse - Mai Chanukah

Q & A

Letters From the Rebbe

Children's Corner

The Significance of Chanukah

 
 Chanukah and Moshiach Maccabean Faith


Just Scratch The Surface

Just scratch the surface of anything and you find out what it really is. Like furniture, for instance. Is it solid wood or veneer? Are those shoes vinyl or leather? Is the jewelry 14 karat gold or vermeil?

Just scratch the surface of Chanuka and you find out what it really is-Moshiach.

Because, in essence, everything is Moshiach. Let's take Chanuka as a prime example.

First of all, you're right that Moshiach is not explicitly mentioned in the story of Chanuka or any of the Chanuka customs, blessings or traditional prayers.

But, to prove a point, let's recount that story of Chanuka you know so well, in a nutshell.

It's the story of the Jewish people under the domination of the Greeks. The Greeks encouraged the Jews to assimilate, enacted decrees against the Torah, and desecrated the Holy Temple.

Many Jews were content to accept the Greek lifestyle.

But one proud Jew, Mattithias, wise and learned, a leader of the people, called upon his brethren to fight G-d's battle, saying, "Whoever is for G-d, join me."

Together the small army fought under the holy banner that proclaimed "Who is like You among the mighty ones, O G-d?"-a phrase whose Hebrew initial letters form the word "Maccabee."

The Jewish army managed to miraculously conquer its bitter enemy, purified and rededicated the Temple, relit the menora and the Jewish people renewed its commitment to G-d and the Torah, etc., etc.

So again, you're wondering, what does Moshiach have to do with the story?

Maimonides tells us that Moshiach will fight "G-d's battles." Sounds pretty much like what Mattithias did.

He also explains that the only difference between exile and the times of Moshiach is that we won't be under the yoke of foreign governments: the Maccabees conquered the Greek army and threw off their rulership, at least temporarily.

When Moshiach comes, he will rebuild the Holy Temple; when the Jewish army purified and rededicated the Holy Temple it was as if they had rebuilt it, since it was not usable in its desecrated state.

Also, with the complete Re-demption, may it come speedily, we will once again fulfill all the various observances of the Holy Temple, like lighting the menora as our ancestors did on Chanuka.

Lastly, our Sages teach us that when Moshiach comes the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d and G-dliness and we will pursue this recognition. That is exactly what the Jews did when they renewed their commitment to G-d and the Torah.

Just scratch the surface of Chanuka, or anything for that matter, and you find out what it really is-Moshiach! Why? Because the ultimate reason for the creation of the entire world is the perfect state the world will realize only when Moshiach comes.

 Chanukah and Moshiach Maccabean Faith



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