I recently learned a few things about "Reform Judaism" and the "Real Chanukah Story" so I'll share them here.
But before I do that, this is what we ate the first night of Chanukah - from scratch latkes and asian beef slow-cooked ribs. That's how we roll.
So I learned that Reform Jews believe that human ethics come directly from G-d but that our holy book is divinely inspired. Which is why the degree of observance by Reform Jews depends on each Jew whereas the focus on repairing the world - or being a good person and doing good in the world - is the constant aim of the religious Reform Jew.
The idea that human ethics comes from G-d is really interesting to me but this blog is not supposed to be where I write about that stuff anymore. Let me just say one thing. I believe that G-d made the world and everything in it. Much follows from that belief but I'll leave it out for now.
So Chanukah -- I was going to explain this but I just looked up a few sources and now my head hurts. History. 164 BCE some stuff happened and an 8 day re-dedication like sukkot or a delayed sukkot took place once we could rededicate the Temple although how that came about is not clear. Did the Syrians just move along after a couple of years?
By the way, I noticed that my kids are having a tough time this year missing out on Christmas and are having a kind of anti-Christmas attitude so I have done my best to counteract this by saying that many people love Christmas who are not exactly Christian persay, driving around looking at lights and telling my kids it is really ok to enjoy Christmas and the fun parts of it while not being Christian.
So then my son says, "yeah, that's how I feel about Chanukah." Awesome.