Hanukkah | Reconstructing Judaism
Hanukkah

 

Hanukka is a relatively new holiday. It developed in the post-Biblical period, after the successful rebellion in 169-166 CE against the religious persecutions of King Antiochus IV. The rabbis of the Talmud later wove together extra-biblical stories of the victory with a narrative of miraculous intervention, signified by the miracle of the oil which lasted eight nights rather than one. Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan used Hanukka as an example of the importance of religious ideals in a civilization’s survival and success. Even though the Maccabees might have thought that God gave them the victory, Kaplan asserted that it was “their devotion to the service of their God that gave significance to their victory and made the memory of it worth preserving.”1

  • 1. Adapted from A Guide to Jewish Practice, Volume 2—Shabbat and Holidays

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