Chanukah was a military victory… where’s the victory parade?

Anyone I have every spoken to who was in Israel at the time of the 1967 Six Day War told me that when it ended, the whole country was buzzing with the huge Miracle that had occurred.

Even secular newspapers didn’t shy away from using the “M” word (miracle).

The American Military could not believe what Israel had been able to accomplish.

As soon as the war was over, within days, everybody in the U.S. Army and Air Force wanted to come out to Tel Aviv and debrief and get the story on the war, which was seen by our people as just incredible. The tank tactics and the air tactics, our experts and intelligence people wanted to get in very early….

I went out with this Air Force team to one of the big Israeli Air Force bases. The commander gave a briefing and our guys asked a lot of questions. One of our guys said, “You just said you were getting six or seven sorties a day out of your aircraft. That’s impossible. We can’t do that.” (full article)

How Quickly they Forget

But it didn’t take long before people started explaining how well-trained the Israelis were and what cowards and incompetents the Arab soldiers were.

Today, the miracles have receded in the shadow of the incredible might of the IDF.

People will celebrate modern Israel’s victories by saying, “כֹּחִי וְעֹצֶם יָדִי” – ” My power and the strength of my hand” (Deut 8:17) achieved this result.

The Birkat Asher comments on this verse and says, “There is a very fine line between the joy you feel through false arrogance and the joy you feel through recognizing that God is the true source of your victory.”

Celebrate the Light

The primary miracle of Chanukah was the military victory of the Maccabees over the Greek Superpower.

Chanukah LightsBut the Jewish Sages understood that it would be very dangerous to focus on the military miracle and celebrate with a military parade honoring the brave Hasmonian warriors.

Instead, they placed our focus on the “small miracle” that occurred in the Temple when one small flask of oil lasted for eight days.

By doing that they are reminding us that the true source of our victory and our joy is God.

Now is the season to order your olive oil from Israel!

With blessings from the Galilee!

Rabbi Shmuel Veffer
Founder, Galilee Green

Chanukah was a military victory… where’s the victory parade?

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