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Chanukah, Day 2

Do you know the story of Chanukah?

To make up for my recent lack of attention to this blog, I’m posting thoughts about Chanukah for each day of the eight-day festival. Today, I’m talking about:

STORY

Do you know the story of Chanukah?

The generally accepted (though disputed) story took place in the middle of the second century B.C.E (or B.C.) when the Second Temple stood in Jerusalem. The ruler of the Land of Israel at the time, Antiochus IV of Syria, led his soldiers to massacre thousands of Jews and desecrate the Temple. A rebellion was led by Mattityahu (Mattathias) and later his son, Yehuda (Judah) the Maccabee. The Jews drove the Syrians out of Jerusalem and set about cleansing the Temple.

The seven-branched candelabrum, representing knowledge and creation, was supposed to be kept burning every day, but there was only enough olive oil to burn for one day. By a miracle, the flames kept alight for eight days, leaving the people time to find a fresh supply of oil.

Jerusalem: a light show on the Old City walls.

The festival of Chanukah concentrates on the miracle and not on massacres. It’s a fun festival and also a minor one. In recent times, its proximity to Christmas (this year they coincide) has raised its status.

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

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