Hanukkah has begun!

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Our Hanukkiah from last night

Last night was the first night of Hanukkah. It was a beautiful evening and we enjoyed some new Hanukkah CDs.

Alexander the Great was a Greek king who ruled over Syria, Egypt and Israel in the 4th century BC and got along with the Jewish people. However, Alexander died in 320 BC and his kingdom was divided among several generals. Seleucus took control of Syria and Israel. He and the rulers after him forced the Hellenistic (Greek) way of life upon those they ruled, including many pagan practices.

In 165 BC, the Jewish people succeeded in evicting the Syrian-Greeks from Israel. They were led by the Hasmonean family of Mattathias and his eldest son, Judah (called the Maccabee). Religious freedom was restored, and the Temple in Jerusalem, which the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus IV had converted into a pagan shrine, was cleansed, restored and rededicated. The word hanukkah means “dedication.”

The story of Hanukkah is not found in the Bible. It is found in the Book of Maccabees, which is one of the books of the Apocrypha. However, we know that Yeshua went to the Temple during Hanukkah. In John chapter 10 it says so!

The miracle of the oil burning in the Temple for 8 days, when there was only enough for one day, is not found in the Apocrypha. That account is found in the Talmud.

We always talk about the miracle of the oil during Hanukkah, but we must also remember the miraculous victory G-d gave to the Jewish people over the pagan Greeks.

Hanukkah Sameach!

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