Chanukah begins Tuesday night, Dec 16, and continues for 8 days, until Wednesday evening, Dec. 24.
In a video message for Chanukah 5775, Rav Cherki discusses the encounter between the cultures of Greece and Israel. We usually say that the Greeks suppressed Judaism, but there was a very long period of good relations between the two cultures.
The Greeks saw the Torah as a novel philosophy and they therefore decided to translate it into Greek (the Septuagint). The Jews of Jerusalem were very upset because the only way to translate the Torah correctly is into “seventy languages” – for all the nations at once, and not into only one language. No single word of the Torah can be understood unless it is explained in seventy different ways.
The Greeks did not understand that the true content of the Torah is not philosophy or human wisdom but rather a message from God. And the only ones who can truly understand the Word of God are those to whom the Word was given, the nation of Israel.
The holiday of Chanukah is an occasion of great joy not only for the nation of Israel but also for all of humanity. Therefore, we light lamps for all eight days of Chanukah on the outside, in order to light up the whole world.