In Ma'amar 4, Pachad Yitzchak on Chanukah, Rav Yitzchak Hutner asks two thought provoking questions. There is a well known discussion in the gemara as to is the basis for the wording of the blessing "asher kedishanu...V'tzivanu." It is a mitzvah of Rabbinic origin. How can we say that we were "commanded" to do the mitzvah since it is not stated in the Torah? The context of this discussion is regarding the mitzvah of lighting the Menorah. Why was Chanukah selected from all the Rabbinic mitzvohs, even those that preceded Chanukah, to clarify this issue?
An additional question Rabbi Hutner poses in this essay is the conflicting status of Greece and its relationship with Judaism. On one hand, halacha gives the Greek language the unique status of being the only other language, aside from Lashon HaKodesh (the Holy Language), that a Sefer Torah can be written in (Megillah 9:). On the other hand, our sages recognize the choshech (darkness) of Yavan (Greece). Its culture and philosophy negatively affect us even today!?
To clarify the above, Rabbi Hutner focuses on why Greece has greater potential to cause serious damage to the Jewish People. He sources this from a Medrash in Bereishis (2:4) that states the following "v'choshech" "and darkness" - this is [a reference to] the exile of Greece, who darkened the eyes of Israel with their decrees. As it said to them, "Write on the horn of a bull that you have no share in the, Elokei Yisrael, G-d of Yisrael." What exactly was the Greek's attack on the Jewish People? The answer can be understood with the following fundamental idea.
Hashem's creating of the world with the "ten utterances" put in place the Laws of Nature - the way the world has to be. The raison d'etre of the world, was not revealed until the giving of the Torah through the Ten Commandments. While the language in creating of the world was imperative (e.g. "Yehi ohr"), the language used in giving the Torah left the choice to us whether to follow its laws or not. Our sages refer to the wisdom/will of Hashem expressed through the laws of nature as "Chachma Chitzonis," "External Wisdom." The wisdom/will of Hashem as expressed through Torah is called "Chochma Penimius," "Internal Wisdom," that which reveals deeper reasons for everything.
The Greeks can only connect with the Chochma Chitzonis, for that is all that is available to them. The Jewish People can study and connect with both Chochma Penimis and Chitzonis.The two together give us the greatest revelation of Hashem's will in this world. The Greek culture and philosophy was able to cause the greatest damage to the fabric of the Jewish people because we validate the existence and study of Chochma Chitzonis. However, the Greeks stressed Chochma Chitzonis to the point of exclusion of Chochma Penimis/Torah. Like the destructive nature of an argument between those who are close to one another, the fact that there was common ground between the Greeks and the Jewish People made it possible for the Greeks to inflict greater harm.
This gives us greater clarity in the previously quoted Medrash which stated that the Greeks claimed that "You have no share in the, Elokei Yisrael, G-d of Yisrael." Our connection to Hashem is only expressed through our forefathers, "Elokei Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov." We will not find e.g. "Elokei Moshe." On the other hand, Torah only begins with Moshe, Toras Moshe Avdi, Torah of My servant Moshe. Even though we had Bris Milah and the prohibition of Gid Hanasheh prior to Sinai, the Rambam tells us that our commandment to preform them comes from Sinai. This is comparable to a star student of a Rabbi. His natural abilities comes from his parents, the Torah from his Rabbi. The right combination is only demonstrated by the student/son's ability to take skills learned from his Rabbi, along with the proper cultivation from his parents, to come up with Torah insights on his own. The same principle applies on a national level. The Jewish People's natural abilities cultivated by our forefathers, combined with the Torah of Moshe Rabbeinu, is expressed through the expounding of Torah shel Ba'al Peh and the Rabbinic Ordinances of our Rabbis. The Greeks wanted to stop the connection, trying to sever what was ingrained into our being from our forefathers - the Chosen People with a higher calling. They attempted to ruin the vessel that would learn and expound upon the Torah of Moshe. Therefore the discussion concerning the validity of "v'tzivanu" regarding a Rabbinic decree has greater meaning with regard to Ner Chanukah, which expresses the rejection of the Greek culture and philosophy.
These concepts find greater appreciation in this week's Parsha. Yosef HaTzaddik was only able to overcome the natural desires and temptations from the wife of Potiphar by having a vision of his father's face. "Yafeh sichasam shel avdei avos yoser miTorasam shel banim", "The conversations of our forefathers have greater relevance than the Torah of the children. Yaakov cultivated and taught a Yosef Hatzaddik, for Yaakov was both his father and Rebbe. May those lessons ingrained in our DNA also find expression in us, the children.