Saturday, December 20, 2014

Judah Maccabee

Nathan made this fig of Judah Maccabee (יהודה המכבי, Y'hudhah HaMakabi). After Alexander the Great died, his empire broke up into different divisions. The Seleucid Empire, which stretched from modern day Syria and parts of Turkey to beyond Iran, had control of Jerusalem. in 175 BCE Antiochus IV Epiphanes forbade Jewish religious practices, including the rites held in the Temple. Judah and his family were leaders in a revolt against the Seleucid forces. In 164 they liberated Jerusalem, and the cleansing and rededication of the Temple, and the miracle of the one-day supply of oil that kept burning for eight nights, are remembered today in the festival of Hanukkah.

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