Hanukkah famously celebrates the victory of the few over the many, the weak over the strong. But more importantly, it tells the story of how a few rebels can defeat a large strong army. Yes, they need to hide out in caves and tunnels, to amass weaponry, to train warriors in secret. Beyond that, they need to win public support for their cause. They need to spread their ideas. And when they won a crucial but limited victory, they need to rekindle hope among the people, to inspire them to declare loyalty in public, to give them the courage to join the fight – and to expose those who refuse to come along.
Hanukkah is about the inspirational power of ideas, and the courage to fight for them. It is about the crucial importance of each and every family standing up for our national cause. It is about how a small, symbolic act of public defiance, repeated thousands of times in home after home, can change the course of history.
The candles were not merely a reminder of the victory in the Temple; they were the vehicle for winning the rest of the long war. So too today, everyone who lights Hanukkah candles is a brave, indispensable participant in the Maccabean tradition.
You can read the whole thing via Flames of Rebellion.