The Greeks had issued decrees against Israel: they forbade Jews to engage in Torah study and practice the mitzvot (commandments).The Greeks proceeded to lay their hands on Jewish property, and eventually, they entered the Holy Temple and defiled everything that was ritually pure.
No candle was in sight, and a Chanukiah (menorah) belonged to the distant past.
Instead, a wooden clog, the shoe of one of the inmates, became a Chanukiah; strings pulled from a concentration camp uniform - wicks, and the black camp shoe polish - pure oil.
But just as I was turning my head, I noticed that behind me, a throng was standing: a large crowd of living Jews, their faces expressing faith, devotion, and concentration as they were listening to the rite of the kindling of the Chanukah lights.
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But immediately, he turned his face back to the quivering small lights and in a strong, reassuring, comforting voice, chanted the third blessing: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us alive, preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season."Among those present at the kindling of the lights was a Mr.
Zamietchkowski, one of the leaders of the Warsaw Bund.
They also stand in as representatives for those who clung to their beliefs in the face of mitigating circumstances.
One of the ways in which we celebrate Chanukah is by lighting candles as a commemoration and encouragement from times past for people in difficult times to come.
Hashem (G-d), in His great mercy, delivered the Greeks into the hands of the Jews. After the Hasmoneons defeated the Greek army, the victors entered the temple to discover that there was only enough ritually pure oil left for one night. This is why we celebrate Chanukah for eight nights.