Date: Kislev 25-
In the 4th Century, BCE Alexander the Great conquered the entire Middle East. After his death the empire was split and factions fought over Israel. The winner was The Selucid empire which was centered in what is now Syria. In 167 BCE Antiochus (who called himself Epiphanes = God has made manifest) forced all of the peoples under his rule to Hellenize. He outlawed Jewish practice such as the celebration of Shabbat and the ritual of Brit Milah (circumcision). He tried to replace Jewish worship with the worship of Greek gods including the sacrifice of non-Kosher animals, most notorious, pigs.
When the Greeks came to Modi’in and set up an altar, an old priest named Mattathias attacked and killed a Jew who was about to make a sacrifice at the altar. There followed a protracted Guerilla war against the Greeks, led by Mattathias and his five sons. Mattathias passed on the leadership of the rebellion to his eldest son, Judah, who was called “HaMaccabee” (the Hammer).
The Maccabees defeated the Greeks and liberated Jerusalem.
They began the long hard task of cleaning the Temple. They found that they had only one small cruse of oil with which to light the Menorah. But that cruse lasted for eight days (until they could produce enough ritually pure oil).
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