[A] custom arose, as recorded by the Radvaz, to come to Nabi Samwil, the traditionally identified location of his gravesite, tonight, on his yahrzeit. A bit north of Yerushalayim. And there children would get their first haircuts. When Shemu’el was weened, he was sent to the Mishkan to live. And he was a nazir, who did not cut his hair his entire life. So there is a logical connection between Shemu’el haNavi and haircuts. Also moved into the Mishkan after he was weened and he grew up there, thus giving the navi a connection to toddlers turning into boys, as well.
When Moshe counts the Jews, each man of military age contributes a half-sheqel … One of the Ran’s themes in his first derashah is the idea that a compound will generally be superior to the components. … The Ran continues that what is true for elements and compounds is true for individuals and the community. … There is a similar theme to the step of Yachatz in the Seder.
So, Adam saw the return of darkness, the same darkness the opening medrash identified with the spiritual decimation attempted by the Hellenists in the years before Chanukah. He mourned and fasted for 8 days. We have 8 days, but with an opposite theme — mourning and fasting are prohibited, and praise and gratitude dominate. And in both cases, the message was only seen in retrospect, the next year.
There is one major difference: Adam concluded that the darkness and the return of light was just “the natural cycle”. In Chanukah, we initiated the light manually, and Hashem responded with a miracle. Where Adam saw Hashem’s Light in nature, we see Him bestowing it in a covenantal union with us.
Adam was the start of this world. The Jewish People were given the Torah, handed a burning torch, to bring light to the world that follows.