Hannukkah is the Festival of Lights. It commemorates an ancient Jewish rebellion against oppression, during which the Temple in Jerusalem was miraculously recaptured from pagan hellenizers and rededicated to the worship of God. The candles of Hanukkah celebrate that rededication. They also help brighten the long winter nights. . . . I also want another miracle. But if it does not come, we will make a human miracle. We will give the world the special gift of our Jewishness. We will not let the world burn out our souls.
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Source Notes: "Miracles for a Broken Planet," McCalls (December 1972). Potok quotes his father on the eighth night of Hanukkah 1938. The father tries to console the son, who wishes that God would stop the Nazi persecution of the Jews just as he allowed the Maccabees to recapture the Temple of Jerusalem from pagan hellenizers.
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