Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Hanukkah

This evening is the first night of the Festival of Lights. I'd like to wish all of my Jewish readers a very happy Hanukkah. For other readers, perhaps a brief description is in order. Solomon built the first Temple in Jerusalem, but this was destroyed by Babylonian invaders, who also took a great number of the Israelites into captivity. As described in the biblical book of Ezra, 70 years later Jews returned from exile and rebuilt it as the Second Temple. About three and a half centuries later, Jerusalem was once again under foreign domination, and the Seleucid Empire (a division of the larger Greek empire conquered by Alexander the Great) forbade Jewish religious practices. Judas Maccabee led an army of Jewish resistance. They regained control of Jerusalem and set out to reestablish worship in the Temple. When they went to light the menorah, the oil-burning lamp, they only had enough sacred oil for one day. But miraculously the lamp kept burning for eight days, until they could produce more oil for use in the temple. The holiday of Hanukkah (which is spelled in a variety of different ways in English, btw, due to the lack of a direct transliteration from the Hebrew) celebrates the rededication of the Temple, with the eight nights of candles remembering those eight nights of the burning lamp. For some LEGO celebration, let's see some versions of the Temple (though I believe these are all supposed to depict the original, but grant me some artistic license):

Thomas tbone tbl spent over a year on his version of the Temple.

This version is from Brendan Powell Smith's Brick Testament.

Here's a Temple by Kooberz.

This Temple was a collaborative build by kids at the Harvest Bible Chapel Vacation Bible School a couple of years ago.

Jstrouse made this microscale version of ancient Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount.

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