Among many other Rabbis, the Netivot Shalom (Rebbe Noach Berezovsky, Rebbe of Chassidut Slonim until 2000), states that the word Chanukkah means “inauguration”. Today we often hear the word when someone is moving into a new home and invites his friends for a Chanukkat HaBayit. The inauguration of his new house or apartment.
And what was inaugurated when the Maccabees fought the Greeks ? A new kosher Mizbeach (Altar) after the Greeks had previously defiled the Mizbeach with pork and all kinds of idol – worship.
But the inauguration wasn’t only taking place then but remains until today. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev writes in his Kedushat HaLevi that we thank G – d that He, through hidden miracles, renews the world on a daily basis.
And so do the Jews have the power when they do Teshuva and start a new relationship with G – d. Teshuva (repentance) doesn’t always mean you have to give up everything and turn into a strict religious person. What Teshuva means is that you realize your mistakes and start all over again. And with this “starting all over again” we renew our relationship with G – d.