Chanukah centers on the ideological battle of two cultures: The hedonistic Yevanim (Greek / Syrian) Culture waging war against the Torah ideals — the battle not being fought for the physical survival of the Jewish nation, but rather for its ideology and way of life.
We, today, live in very different times. We are no longer downtrodden and subjugated to oppressive regimes — we are free to choose our lifestyle. And so, not only does Torah learning flourish at unprecedented levels, we have also created our own insular culture, and the Jewish nation even in exile, has fashioned its own way of life. We have our own neighborhoods and schools, we have our own shopping districts and clothing styles, we even have our own novels, music and daily newspapers. So it seems that we have won the cultural war – there are no Yevanim influences in our world — and as such the message of Chanukah has little to offer us. Unfortunately, this rosy picture is far from reality.
This Shmuz explores some of the inroads that “foreign ways” have found even into the finest Torah homes, and identifies the ideological battleground of our time.