On a short busy Friday such as the one past, it is so easy to lose focus. Here we were, running and rushing, all day, trying to make it in time for shabbos. Making beds, setting the table, baking cookies, and of course, greeting guests. Nobody had a spare moment to breathe.
When the entire family came breathlessly panting into the room, hair dripping, shirts half buttoned, ready to light the menorah, I got my reminder.
The various men took their turn lighting their menorah, then their respective wives took their turns lighting the shabbos candles. After each of the men had lit, it was the children's turn. I watched as my oldest brother sat there, his youngest daughter in his lap. In their hand, they clutched a small colored candle. Together, slowly, word by word, my brother and his three year old daughter recited the words of the brachos. As if he had all the time in the world, my brother helped my niece pronounce each word. I looked slighly to the left, and I saw my mother's prized picture. It was a photo of my father, holding his oldest son, the aformentioned brother, in his lap. The picture was so life-like, you could almost see the movement, as my father took my brother's hand in his, held that colored candle, and slowly, carefully, recited the brachos with him. I looked once again, at my grown-up version, and marveled at the way history was repeating itself.
"This is what mesorah really means," I thought to myself. One father teaching a mitzvah to his son, who in turn teaches it to his daughter. IYH, one day, she too will have a child with whom to light those colorful Chanukah candles. Because this is Torah, this is Mesorah. This is what the Greeks didn't want.
Sorry to tell you this Greeks, but thousands of years later, we are still winning this war.