Hanukkah: story of a miracle –

One of the Jewish holidays most important is Hanukkahalso known as the “Festival of the Luminaries”. This celebration refers -as in so many others religious holidays– to very important historical events: the victory over the hellenes which concluded with the recovery of the independence from town Jewish and the recovery of jerusalem temple. We propose to investigate this complex historyeither to remember… or to learn more about this rich religion.

The celebration of Hanukkah will start this friday December 11, 2009. From that night and for 8 days a commemoration time is opened that will be marked by the presence of the chandelier either menorah. The menorah is the symbol of thecandlestick miracle” in which a small amount of oil burned for eight days in a row.

The Hanukkah story dates back to the time of hellenic domination in Israel. This hegemony had begun with the expansion of Macedonia carried out by Alexander the Great, in 332 a. C.. In the 2nd Century BC, the coming to power of Antiochus IV Epiphanes What king of syria (175 and 164 BC), deepens the conflict.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes decide hellenize to the Jews. In other words, they sought to implant Greek customs and beliefs as a way of unifying their domains under the same culture. Antiochus issued decrees against the Jews, prohibiting the practice of worship; and ordering that Scrolls of the Law were confiscated and then burned.

under the leadership Yehudah Maccabia group of Jews -who were called macabees by their leader – rebelled against Greek power. They were opposed to going against their beliefs religious. And they formed legions that, sheltered between the mountains, attacked the Hellenic troops.

When they were victorious, the macabees they return to Jerusalem and they release her. The holy temple it had been desecrated. The menorah gold (a chandelier seven-armed) had been stolen. Instead the Maccabees they replaced it with a new one menorah of a less noble metal.

The pure olive oil required for the ritual was very scarce, barely enough for a single day. Miraculously, however, it stayed on for eight days. The Jewish town interpreted this event as a sign that God He gave them his protection again. In commemoration of this miraclethe jewish tradition celebrate this festivity during the eight days of Hanukkahas an eternal gratitude that is symbolized in the lighting of the candles of the menorah.

More information

The complete story of Hanukkahat www.es.chabad.org

Hanukkah, on Wikipedia


Menorah, on Google

Menorah from the Eshtamua Synagogue, 3rd century, on Google