Lesson 3: Finding the Balance. The concept of “assimilation” figures large in the story of Hanukkah, write Frankel and HaLevi in Revolution of Jewish Spirit. How does a community or a group maintain its identity in relation to the culture at large? How much will it resist outside influences and how much will it embrace those influences? When the Maccabees revolted against the Syrian-Greeks, they were also revolting against a Hellenistic culture and philosophy. Yet as a result of living within the culture at large, Judaism moved from being philosophically illiterate to becoming a systematic and coherent faith. From the Greeks, and later the Romans, they learned the principles of legal interpretation which became the method of interpreting Jewish law in the Talmud.
The Festival of lights»