Hanukkah is a holiday that has been embraced in modern times by many different kinds of Jews for many different reasons. Modern Israel has embraced the m’norah as its national symbol, and Hanukkah has come to be seen as a festival of Jewish rebirth in defiance of overwhelming odds. Modern diaspora Jews identify Hanukkah with their own ongoing struggle against assimilation and, indeed, the m’norah shines brightly in many nonreligious Jewish homes as a badge of honor and identity.
The real challenge for Jews of all types, secular and religious, inside and outside Israel, is to identify with and affirm Hanukkah’s authentic message of optimism and faith.
- Alan Lucas in his chapter on the Holidays from The Observant Life