Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Here are two thoughts about Hanukkah that I heard from Eden Harel. One thought is very spiritual and one is very practical.
- "The struggle of Hannukah is not over. In contrast to other enemies who wanted to destroy us, the Greeks said: We have no problem that you will continue to live, as long as it's without your sprituality. They did not want to kill, only to make decrees to undermine our identity. Therefore the war with them is not over and it's the longest war. It's a cultural war against our style of life, our worldview. How we define beauty, how we define success, how we define happiness. This a struggle that is still with us, even at this moment in time.”
- "In many Chasidic books it is written that we must look deeply into the flames of the Hanukkah candles. All year long we see things that we would rather not see, that have nothing to do with us, so many advertisements and videos that pop up constantly, whether we are in the street or on social media. Hanukkah is an opportunity to enlighten our eyes, to purify our vision, to simply sit quietly and gaze at the holy light that the candles emit.”
And then I recalled that these beautiful thoughts on the clash between popular culture and Hanukkah were coming from the same media personality who, in my childhood, served as a host on MTV and later adopted a life of Torah and mitzvot. Happy Hanukkah.