The Maharal of Prague tells us, that the primary conflict between the Greeks and the Jews was in their chochma, their wisdom. Chochmat Yavan, the Wisdom of the Greeks was the physical sciences. Chochmat Yisrael, the Wisdom of the Jews, was the Torah. Both their chochma and ours are the study of the will or desire of Hashem. The Greek wisdom, the physical sciences, is the study of His desire as a Creator. When Hashem created our world He had a desire about the way it should work and function and so formulated the laws of nature. He also had another desire, that human life should function according to a certain pattern - the pattern of Torah.

Both the pattern of life and the pattern of nature are the desires of our Creator, and to be involved in understanding either of these patterns is to be involved in understanding our Creator Himself. It is because of this similarity between our chochma and the Greek chochma that the only language other than Ivrit that a Torah can be written in is Greek. However, there is a fundamental difference between the two systems, and this is where the conflict arose. The study of the natural world is to study things that exist now, and must always exist. The sun has no choice whether to rise and set, nor do the waves have a choice crash on the beach day in and day out. This is the complete opposite of Hashem's desire for the pattern of human life. Aside from the functions of a human body, everything that Hashem wants actualized in the pattern of human life, as described by the Torah, is completely optional and dependent solely on the choice and effort of each individual person. From this difference developed the conflict: For the Greek Wisdom, only that which must be, is real. Only something that can be proven in the laboratory is of any value. There was no dreams of human achievement beyond the limits and parameters of scientific measurement. There was no immeasurable goal for which this world was created to achieve. The Sages of the Torah, on the other hand, were involved in a study of things that don't have to be. They don't necesarily exist now. They are the ideal that we strive towards achieving, and are completely dependant on our efforts and deeds. Everything we learn about in Torah depends totally on us to become a reality. We learn that everything worthwhile in our world is the exclusive product of human effort and that human effort is not bounded or restricted by what appears to be our physical dimensional environment. Through the Torah and with great effort, a person can grow and develop in ways that were never thought physically possible. They can even begin to see that there is much more to the world than just its physical shell.... there is it's spiritual core. A core which can never be detected by the scientific wisdom of the Greeks, but can be detected by us. The Jewish mystics understood the number 7 to represent the physical world. There are 7 days of the week. 7 colours in the rainbow. This is the physical world. 8 is beyond the physical world. It is the divine ideal that is the source and motivation of all creation. The centre of our world is the spiritual, not the physical, as the Greeks would have liked to suggest. The miracle of Chanuka lasted 8 days. It is the victory of the Jewish Wisdom over the Greek Wisdom. That there is a deeper spiritual reality to our physical world. That there is more to life, and to our world, than meets the eye. This is the victory of Chanuka and the reality that our chochma, the Torah, describes.

May we all merit to achieve, through the Torah we learn, a deeper glimpse and understanding of the core of our world! Chanuka sameach and Shabbat Shalom,

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