That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
The Story of Hanukkah
The story of Hanukkah begins with the Greek invasion of the known world. When Alexander the Great died, his empire was divided among his four leading generals. One of those generals was named Seleucis. Seleucis fought for and won the region that included Israel. A successor of Seleucis, Antiochus IV, eventually came to control that region. He quickly initiated severe means of persecuting the Jewish population. The persecution ranged from assigning a Hellenistic priest in the Temple to prohibiting Jewish religious expression, to outright murder of Jews. What ultimately drove the Jews to revolt was the sacrifice of pigs on the Temple’s altar. Some groups, specifically the Hasidim (no relation to the movement which began in the Middle Ages), were already opposing the Greek government because of the assimilation of many of their fellow Jews.
Two groups in particular opposed Antiochus: a nationalistic group led by Mattathias and his son Judah Maccabee, and a religious group which ended up being the forerunner of the Pharisees. They joined forces in revolt against the persecution. Their revolution succeeded and the Temple was cleansed and rededicated. The Talmud tells of the legend that, as the Jews were rededicating the Temple, a day’s portion of oil, which was all that could be found, lasted for eight days, allowing a new batch of oil to be made. After decades of fighting, in the year 129 BCE, the Jewish people achieved independence under the Hasmonean dynasty, from which the Maccabees came. Some in the more traditional parts of the Jewish community see the Maccabees as setting a precedent. Jewish people learned a lesson that they took to heart–the God of Israel is worth dying for.
INVITE A SPEAKER
As you look ahead in your church calendar for the coming months, it is our pleasure to offer you a variety of ways we can help with speakers for special events or particular topics.
Midweek presentations are available for any timeframe – from 10 minutes to one hour and in whatever format is comfortable for you. Most of our presentations include PowerPoint slides, making it easy for people to follow along.
If this sounds interesting, but you have questions, we would be happy to discuss possibilities with you. Complete the form below to get things started.
Chosen People Ministries (Canada)
Chosen People Ministries (Canada)
Dufferin-Lawrence PO Box 58103
Toronto, ON M6A 3C8
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