sermonette: The Origin of Hanukkah
Should We Celebrate It?
Given 11-Dec-04; Sermon #696s; 14 minutes
Bill Onisick explores the origin of the Feast of Dedication, Feast of Lights or Hanukah, the only civil or national Jewish holiday mentioned in the Bible. Greek tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes defiled the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar and forced the observance of pagan Greek festivals upon the Jews. Judas Maccabees (known as the Hammer) led a revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes, capturing back the temple from the Greek defilers, and rededicated it. A legend about a menorah miraculously burning for eight days emerged from this episode. Modern observances of Hanukah (The Feast of Dedication or Festival of Lights) unfortunately has assimilated or synchronized some of the symbolism associated with the fires of the pagan winter solstice, coaxing back the unconquered sun.
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