Here's a thought about Chanukah that I've had for awhile.
We're so used to reading and mentioning the Chanukah miracle in passing, a sort of G rated version of events. But if one studies the History of the Chashmonoim ..one finds a dramatically different picture.
The bloody battles of those times (elephants and all) left thousands of Jews dead in the most greusome fashion.
After the miracle..the Jews lived in peace for just a few years before a long succession of Hellenized and corrupt Chashmonai Kings ascended the throne. Many, like Antygonys, had tens of thousands of Chachomim killed in horrific bloodbaths.
Less than a hundred years after Chanukah the Chashmonai Kings invited the Romans to settle the Civil War, and that was the beginning of the end.
So not only didn't the idyllic times last long, they helped bring about the ultimate destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh that they had purified.
And yet we see the power of a miracle...a moment of time when some light shone through the darkness.
A moment of hope that lasts until today.
Life, after all, is comprised of moments. We all have our moments, and the good moments ought to be celebrated, even if they are followed by relapses to old habits. One must shake off the dust and strive for another moment...and another...
This is what the story of Chanukah teaches us.
It's a subdued Holiday..we sit and reflect at the flickering lights, even though we know they won't last long. Still, we bask in their beauty...and then come back the next night..and light them again...adding another light...then another..