The Jewish holiday of Chanukah (the winter Feast of Dedication, also known as the Festival of Lights) is rooted in history.
Zerubbavel, the Persian governor of occupied Judea, had laid the foundation and rebuilt the Temple of God in Jerusalem. Herod the Great, in his quest for personal aggrandizement, razed the Temple constructed by Zerubbavel to the ground and then rebuilt it to become one of the greatest religious edifices in the Roman Empire.
Sandwiched between these two grand construction projects came the Maccabean revolt. Through a series of different events the Temple was desecrated, a Jewish insurrection led by the Maccabean brothers was launched and rededication of the Jerusalem Temple was secured after much bloodshed.
The holiday that we celebrate today recalling these events is called חֲנֻכָּה Chanukah. It comes from the Hebrew verb לַחֲנוךְ Lachanoch, which means, in a slightly different context, to consecrate, to inaugurate and even to educate and train. We can see this connection in the Hebrew word for education (חִנּוּךְ Chinuch) which connotes the meaning of dedicated learning. May this Chanukkah season we rededicate ourselves to all that is holy, right and true.