The eight days of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, end for this year at nightfall on Friday, Dec. 18. In America it is celebrated by the lighting of candles, family warmth, feasts that feature potato pancakes (latkas) or jelly donuts (sufganyot) and gift-giving.
But Hanukkah is rooted in serious history that in 2020 makes its meaning important to all Americans. Almost 2,200 years ago, the Jews’ country had been stolen, and their most sacred values desecrated by foreign occupiers – but the Jews fought and regained their independence.
Americans have just seen our own society corrupted, one of our two ruling political parties hijacked by godless democracy-destroying zealots aided by Communist China. Our rights such as free speech and freedom of religion are being extinguished. Our historic statues and many cities are being destroyed by intimidating violent mobs of leftist looters and arsonists.
Our police, laws, courts, watchdog press and elections now seem to be controlled by anti-American, globalist ideologues. Do we still have the dedication and faith to regain our independence?
The Jewish homeland was one of many countries conquered by Macedonian Alexander the Great, who on his deathbed was asked which of his generals would inherit his empire. “The strongest,” replied Alexander. So his generals seized pieces of his Greek conquests for themselves – including the Ptolemies, who took Egypt, and the Seleucids, who grabbed Syria and what today we call Israel.
A “progressive” Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, who modestly called himself Epiphanes, “God Manifest,” tried to force “multiculturalism” onto devout Jews. Pagan temples included graven images of other tribes’ “gods.” The Jews, said Antiochus, must likewise be made “tolerant.”
Antiochus’ troops sacrificed a pig to the Greek chief “god” Zeus on the Jewish Temple’s altar, a desecration Scripture calls the “abomination of Desolation” against the Jews’ One God.
This ignited the Israelites to wage war, led by Judas Maccabeus (the “hammer”) and his five sons. This Maccabean Revolt (167-160 B.C.) defeated the Greeks and established the Hasmonean dynasty in Judea from 167 to 37 B.C.
After their victory, the story goes, Maccabee priests searched the defiled Temple and found one container with only one day’s sanctified oil to reconsecrate the holy place. Miraculously, this sacred oil lighted the Temple for eight days. Ever since, Hanukkah has been celebrated over eight days, the time this surviving oil burned away the darkness during some of the shortest days of the year.
The Hebrew word Hanukkah means “dedication.” This celebration evokes not only the miracle of rededicating God’s Temple, but also the dedication of courageous believers who fought to defend their faith. Because they stood firm, the Jews remain a light to the nations in this Jewish year 5781.
Hanukkah’s call to dedication is now a lesson for all Americans. Progressive pagans have been shutting down celebrations of Thanksgiving, a blessed day defined by Moses to the children of Israel, according to Deuteronomy 26:1-4. Pagan rulers in much of our country have imposed lockdowns that stifle Christmas and other elements of both Christian and Jewish religious practice, threatening to shut down the synagogues and churches of those refusing to bow to arbitrary leftist authoritarians.
Democrats justify such power by pointing to a virus unleashed on us by godless Chinese Communists and used that powerr as a weapon to defeat American nationalist President Donald Trump and replace him with Joe Biden.
Biden, a longtime puppet of Beijing, will likely choose as ambassador to China globalist Bob Iger, head of the Walt Disney conglomerate. Disney makes propaganda for Red China, whose 2 million Chinese-Muslim slaves enrich multinational corporations such as Nike, named for the pagan Greek goddess of victory.
The Maccabees fought not just against Greeks, but also against Hellenized Jews, who had sold out their faith for Greek status, power and wealth. We might call them “JINOs.”
If we enter the “dark winter” promised by Joe Biden, we each face a choice. Will we rededicate ourselves to reclaiming our Judeo-Christian faith and values and the ideals of America’s founders? Or will we sell our souls to those who promise a socialist heaven on Earth, a new Eden made only by the hands of men who believe that government is now god?
We need to search our souls and decide whether we are to be free or the slaves of today’s pagans. Things look dark, but after the winter solstice on Dec. 21, we begin gaining an extra minute of sunlight each day. And on Dec. 25, we celebrate the light of God coming to Earth at Christmas.
Lowell Ponte is a former think tank futurist and retired Roving Editor at Reader’s Digest. He is coauthor, with Craig R. Smith, of “Money, Morality & the Machine: Smith’s Law in a Lawless, Over-Governed Age.” Ponte’s articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and major other publications.
This article appeared originally on WND.