Happy Last Day of Hanukkah!

Chag Urim Sameach!

That is the only biblical reference to a well-known winter holiday that Jesus celebrated, a holiday many will celebrate this month. You know it by another name, (hint: it’s not Christmas!). No, from December 13 to 21, my Jewish people will celebrate the Feast of Dedication, commonly known as Hanukkah.

Many are surprised that the only Bible verse mentioning Hanukkah is found in the New Testament. That is simply because the holiday commemorates an event that occurred during the inter-Testamental period, approximately 165 BC. A Syrian King named Antiochus invaded the Jewish nation and demanded that my people abandon the God of Israel and His ways. His plan: forced “Hellenization.” That meant imposing Greek customs, including idolatry, on the people. It meant forbidding the practice of the Jewish religion, including circumcision. Ultimately, to ensure that no one could worship the God of Israel, Antiochus defiled the Temple in Jerusalem. He placed idols in the house of the Lord and sacrificed a sow upon the holy altar. He not only defiled God’s Temple, but he took the title “Epiphanes,” which means “God manifested,” and demanded to be worshiped. In response to his blasphemous claim to deity, the Jewish people modified his title, calling him “Epimanes” (crazy).

It was a terribly dark period in Israel’s history, but God raised up a small band of heroes led by a family known as the Maccabees (Maccabee means “hammer”). They waged a successful rebellion against Antiochus and drove the Syrians out of Israel. The Feast of Hanukkah commemorates the victory God gave the Jewish people over Antiochus and his mighty army. We call the holiday Hanukkah (dedication), because the high point of our victory was rededicating the Temple in Jerusalem.

dreidles for the win!

I gotta be honest here...im wondering how the jews stayed around for so long when everyone wants them dead?

Kings21 - I gotta be honest here...im wondering how the jews stayed around for so long when everyone wants them dead?

God

Bunch of bullshit.

Fraylikhe khanike, ya mamzer.

"A Syrian King named Antiochus invaded the Jewish nation and demanded that my people abandon the God of Israel and His ways. His plan: forced “Hellenization.”

Not the most accurate way to put it. There was a Civil War between pro-Hellenization and traditionalist factions, with the added complication that the traditionalists favored the Ptolemys to the Seleucids. The Seleucids let the Jews fight it out for sone time before stepping in.

Where Hanukkah is important to Christians is that is when Rome began to extend influence into Judea, leading eventually to Jesus. And the Hellenizers became extremely important to early Christianity, like with Paul.

The big irony is that a minor holiday who main message is that assimilation is bad became turned into Jew Christmas.