The holiday of Chanukah is actually relatively minor compared to the far greater and Biblically-commanded holidays of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Rosh HaShanah (New Year), Pesach (Passover) and several others. But to self-hating, assimilated, intermarried and spiritually obliterated American Jews, Chanukah takes on an enormous importance for only one reason: it falls at about the same time of the year as Christmas. And so Jewish parents give their children Chanukah gifts just as Christian parents are giving Christmas gifts to their children. Many self-hating Jews even place Christmas trees in their homes and call them "Chanukah bushes."
The true purpose of Chanukah is completely distorted by the modern-day Jew. This includes the so-called "religious" Jews, who long ago became Orthodox atheists, mere practicioners of ritual who have no genuine core set of beliefs.
The first lesson of Chanukah is the story of G-d-fearing Jews in violent rebellion against self-hating traitors.
The Maccabees started their holy revolt by killing Jewish Hellenists. The Hellenists were Jews who followed a foreign, idolatrous culture, thereby betraying their Jewish heritage.
When the Syrian Greeks demanded that the heavily outnumbered Jews stop observing the Torah and start worshipping Greek idols, these UJA-Bnai Brith-Conservative-Reformed-Reconstructionist Jewish Hellenists supported the Jew-hating demand. They, too, wanted to obliterate the Jewish religion. They wanted to be "sophisticated" and "cosmopolitan." These New York Nazi Times-Disney-Hollywood Hebrews were ashamed of their Jewish background.
The response of the Maccabees was not to reach out and dialogue with the traitors but to literally kill them.
Following this internal Jewish revolt against treason, which was successful, came the revolt against the Syrian Greek occupiers.
The Jews were outnumbered by roughly 10 to 1. The Syrian Greeks had better weaponry and very skilled forces. They had defiled the Bet HaMikdash (the Jewish holy temple in Jerusalem). It was here that G-d gave the Jews a sign of the coming victory by permitting one day's supply of lamp oil to burn miraculously for eight days and eight nights.
The Maccabees went on to utterly defeat the foreign oppressors in an incredible military triumph. They won this victory even though the majority of their fellow Jews were against them.
Thus, Chanukah commemorates the Maccabees' war to destroy self-hating Jewish traitors who sought to destroy their own people. And it commemorates the subsequent destruction of the foreign enemies of the Jewish people who occupied our land and oppressed us. And it commemorates the destruction of those cowardly Jews who sought to appease and surrender to Israel's foreign enemies. And it commemorates the Maccabee view that G-d-fearing Jews must not wait for the approval of the majority to fulfill G-d's will.
Is this the Chanukah message that Jews impart to their children and to themselves during this time of the year?
Chanukah is not a story about dreidels or doughnuts or an ACLU-style definition of freedom of religion. It is the story of unbending will and determination to march down the path of justice with perfect faith in G-d knowing that Jews who do so will become the trailblazers of history. And it is knowing that no matter what the odds seem to be, those who follow this path will someday fulfill the dream of millennia.
As it is written in our Chanukah prayer, Al HaNisim (About the Miracles):
... when the kingdom of wicked Greece stood against the people of Israel to force them to forget Your Torah and to take them from the laws of Your will, and You in Your great mercy stood with them in the time of their trouble, fought their fight, judged their judgment, avenged their vengeance, gave victory to the weak against the strong, the few against the many, the pure against the defiled, the righteous against the wicked, the Torah observers against the hardened sinners, and You made for Yourself a great and holy name in Your world, and for Your people Israel You made a great salvation in this day.
Of course, when reading these words, we can also see before our eyes the miracles of tiny modern-day Israel.
If only the Jews would be willing to see. If only JTF had the resources to finally show them.