The ancient Greeks, believers of imbecilic idolatry and totally immersed in the pursuit of their lusts and bodily appetites, wanted us to be like them. When they conquered ancient Judea, they outlawed the learning of Torah, trying to force our people to learn in their academies. The Maccabees, who had no desire to relinquish their holiness or their supremacy of wisdom, fought back, despite the fact that over 90% of the Jewish population turned to Hellenism.
The struggle of Chanuka continues to this day. With the "teshuva" movement, so many people are worried that their sons prefer Torah study in Yeshiva to the pursuit of "Hellenistic" intellectual disciplines in university. Be proud and happy, dear parents, and please don't worry anymore. On the other hand, many people who were born into the Torah world succumb to outside propaganda and pressure, thinking that people in the universities know something that our sages of the Talmud didn't know. They'd be well-advised to begin taking their Torah-learning seriously. Here's why:
Hashem taught Moshe Rabbenu on Mount Sinai the secrets of the universe, including astronomy and astrophysics. NASA is over 3,300 years behind Moshe Rabbenu; thanks to their advanced technological equipment, they're only beginning to learn what Moshe Rabbenu knew way back then. And, Moshe Rabbenu didn't have satellites, astrophotography or atomic clocks - he didn't need them.
My wonderful friends and colleagues at Israel National News have made a beautiful sanctification of Hashem's name by comparing NASA's latest research on the lunar cycle to what our sages in Talmud have known for the past thousands of years:
The Talmud states that the lunar cycle spans ‘29.5 days and 793 fractions of an hour’. In Talmudic terms, the hour is divided into 1080 parts.
793/1080 = 0.734259 hours.
0.734259/24 = 0.03059 days.
29.5 days + 0.03059 days = 29.53059 days for the moon to travel around Earth.
NASA Research concluded that the lunar cycle is 29.530588 days, two 1/1000ths of a second short of the Talmudic figure. More advanced research in Berlin came to a figure of 29.530589 days, only one thousandth of a second short of the Talmudic figure.
The Sinai tradition of the span of the lunar cycle is thus corroborated by figures reached via advanced satellites and atomic clocks.
Put down the astronomy book and start learning Tractate Rosh Hashana, the Rambam's laws of the new moon, and the Tiferet Yisroel's commentary on Mishnayot. If you're looking for a degree, go to university; if you're looking for wisdom, go to the Torah. Happy Chanuka!