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Holiday Central > Chanukah > The Story of Chanukah
The Story of Chanukah
By: Rivka C. Berman, Contributor
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Chanukah is a Jewish holiday in which we celebrate our survival as a nation and the triumph of light over darkness.  It is a celebration of a past that seems so relevant and contemporary - a thousand years later. 

The following is the historical background that brought upon the Jews of Israel the wrath of the Hellenistic Era.  In the 7th century BCE (Before the Common Era), King Cyrus gave the Jews, who had been exiled to Babylonia, permission to return to the land of Israel and to rebuild the holy Temple. 

Alexander the Great 4th century BCE massive conquering campaign pushed across the Middle East.  To unify his conquests, Alexander the Great encouraged the adoption of Hellenistic ideals.  Some Jews eagerly co-opted to the Greek’s admiration of the body, their penchant for philosophy and literature.  But most Jews rejected the Greek ideals of beauty and remained loyal to Judaism and its practices. 

After Alexander the Great died, his vast kingdom was divided into three mini-empires.  Two of them, the Ptolmies of Egypt and the Selucids of Syria, fought over Judea.   

This brings us to the reign of Antiochus IV. 

Mazor Guide for Chanukah brings you much more about the holiday, its meaning and its traditions... See the links below.

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