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The Hanukkah Story aka Miracle

The year was about 165 BC. A group of men led by Judah the Maccabee climbed to the top of a mountain overlooking Jerusalem. They were about to complete a great victory, a triumph that lives on as the miracle of Hanukkah.

After the death of Alexander the Great his Empire was divided among his generals and the land of Israel came under the rule of the Syrian-Greek King Antiochus, who wanted all Jewish people to convert to his own religion.

 

King Antiochus started being so ruthless when it came to religion that he earned himself the nickname Antiochus the Madman. He even filled the Jews' holy temple with his own idols (statues of gods) and forbade them from observing their own holidays and traditions.

Then Matthew came along, a man who wasn't afraid to stand up to Antiochus. With his five sons he started a war against the Syrian-Greeks. When he died, his sons, lead by Judah the Maccabee, continued the fight.

Judah and his men won many battles and defeated the mightiest armies of Syria. But then the enemy destroyed the Jews' holy temple. Judah and his men saw it happen as they stood on that mountain overlooking Jerusalem in 165 BC. And when they finally got to the ruined temple, they found that the only thing that the Syrians hadn't destroyed was one tiny jug of olive oil, which people used back then to fire up their oil lamps for light.

 

And here's the miracle: that one small jug of oil, which technically shouldn't have been enough to light one lamp for one night, lit Judah and his followers' special lamp (called a menorah) for eight whole nights! Those eight miraculous days were chosen as the eternal symbol to commemorate the miracle of Hanukkah. Today, we light the menorah for eight days to remember the miracle that happened 2000 years ago!

Video: How To Light The Menorah

Have Your Say

How do you celebrate Hanukkah? Let us know!


 

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