Hanukkah is a special time of year known for lighting candles on a beautiful Hanukkah menorah and eating yummy fried foods like potato latkes, which I think goes great with apple sauce. But do you know much about the history of the holiday? In this program you can learn something about the history of Hanukkah.
A long time ago Antiochus the 3rd, who was the ruler of the Seleucid Empire, went to Judea to establish control over the area. He promised that Jewish people would not have to give up their religious practices by being forced to adopt the practices of the Greeks.
However, as time progressed many Jews did end up adopting Greek religious beliefs anyway. When Antiochus the 3rd died, his son who was known as Antiochus the 4th, took over. There was a Jewish high priest named Onias who wasn’t in support of the Jewish people adopting the practices of the Greeks, but he was removed from his position by the 4th Antiochus and replaced with Jason. Unlike Onias, Jason was loyal to the Greeks, and it is said he bribed his way into the position of high priest, among other things.
Eventually Antiochus the 4th turned his support over to another person named Manalaus to serve in the position of high priest instead of Jason. It is said the new high priest looked the other way when his brother stole special items from the temple. Now if you have read the Bible, you will know that a lot of things used in the temple were very valuable. A lot of gold and other precious materials went into making different tools; the objects used in the holy place looked special, and they were indeed special. When he was arrested, his brother Manalaus intervened and set him free. This was probably very frustrating to many people who rightfully thought that he should be punished for stealing. Not only is stealing wrong in general, stealing from God’s house directly is a serious offence.
You can watch the video and learn more about the events that led up to Jason, the former high priest, attempting to regain his lost position through a revolt. And that in turn caused many things that made life much harder for the Jewish people. These events are all tied together into the deeply treasured story of the Maccabees leading the Jewish people to fight back, trying to regain the privileges they lost.
Written by Lee Bigg