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For Shabbos Chanukah

This vort for Chanukah was written by the Divrei Chaim for Kallah Magazine about a decade ago. It remains posted, along with some other timeless divrei Torah here:

Beauty is Truth, truth beauty” Shalom, Emes, and the Chanukah story

“Beauty is Truth, truth beauty” is the declaration of the Grecian urn in John Keats’ famous ode.  Whether or not that statement can be taken at face value is not just the subject of poetry, but underlies the story of Chanukah.  The urn reflects the culture of Greece, the veneration of beauty as an end in itself.  The Hellinists thought that the culture of Greece and the culture of Judaism could live in peace; the underlying conflict of values could be smoothed over and a superficial beauty would replace the inner truth.  But the Hasmonaim saw through the falseness of this position and declared that the fundamental conflict of values could not be smoothed over with an appealing fa├žade.  Supreme beauty can onl…

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