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Episode 2 of 10

The Story of Hanukkah

station description by Chosen People Ministries
Our Hope Podcast
Duration: 26:25
In this week's episode of Our Hope Podcast, Dr. Alan Shore returns to share about the incredible history behind this holiday!
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In this week's episode of Our Hope Podcast, Dr. Alan Shore returns to share about the incredible history behind this holiday!
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it is almost time to take out our menorahs and start frying some Lakas Hanukkah is coming. This'll Holiday is one of the most joyful festivals on the Jewish calendar, and it lasts for eight nights. However, many people do not know that Hanukkah commemorates one of the most intense wars, both on a cultural level and on the battlefield that Israel ever experienced. On today's episode of our hope, we're going to explore the history behind this holiday. And we have invited back our National Ministry Representative Dr Alan Shore to lead us on this journey. Dr. Shore, welcome back to our hope. How are you? I'm doing well. I'm excited to be here. Thank you for having me. Yes. Put on your Jamaica. Here comes Hanukkah. That's awesome. So since this is a Hanukkah themed episode, I thought we should ask What is your favorite Hanukkah dish? Well, nothing compares with a lot of, you know, the fried potato pancakes that s so delicious and you can have them with sour cream. You can have them with applesauce. Applesauce was my prefer topping for Lakas as a boy, and it remains so to this day, that's awesome. I You know, I obviously did not celebrate Hanukkah growing up, but my Jewish friends, I always I was always jealous of them for getting gifts for eight days straight. Man s o. Do you have any, like, fond memories from when you celebrated Hanukkah as a child, or even still, is an adult? Certainly. Certainly. The lighting of the candles was certainly the highlight. We had very brightly colored candles as a boy. We get summat the Jewish center, and now we use bees wax calendars as we like the menorah in our home, which makes a lovely, lovely fragrance. A za child. We would spin the dreidel. Do you remember the Dratel ed? It's a spinning top with the four Hebrew letters. Niece, Cattle. Hyah! Shama Great miracle happened there on It's a It's a game, a spinning game where people put Hanukkah gelt into the pot and play for Hanukkah gelt, which are gold coin well, chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. So was a lot of fun. Great fun. That's awesome. So what does the word Hanukkah mean? And why was this name given to the holiday? Well, the name of the holiday Hanukkah is is dedication it's the feast of dedication. So the highlight of the feast of dedication is the cleansing and rededication of the temple in Jerusalem, which had been he filed under the Syrian King Antiochus the fourth in a number of ways we can get into later. But the recapture of the temple and the re cleansing of the temple rededication of the temple under the Maccabees is what the the you know, the guerrilla warfare that took place on the great battle that was one. And the rededication of the temple is, uh is basically the focal point on. There is a very complex context that revolves around that. But basically the rededication of the temple is the focal point. So you just mentioned this war. Why? Why was this war even fought? Well, not to get too deeply into the weeds. After Alexander the Great passed away in by 3 23 BC, his kingdom was divided, Um, some of his generals got some of his territory. One of his generals solu cas got the territory that included Syria and also the land of Israel. And so Lucas had unanswered Well, the descendant by the name of Antiochus, the fourth Antiochus epiphanies Antiochus God revealed he had a very high opinion of himself, and around 1 75 or Stow, he began to oppress the Jewish people. Um, he made it impossible for Jewish people to follow their faith. Under the under pain of death, he forbade sacrifice in the temple. He forbade the reading of the Tory forbade circumcision. He forbade the dietary laws and in short, attempted to make the Children of Israel into into good, good Syrians who were deeply influenced by the Greek Hellenic culture. So all right, there was a revolt. There was pushback. There was also quite a number of people. Unfortunately, we could get into this a little bit later also. But there were many Jews that we're all right with this. They liked Greek culture. They liked the goodies that that they could get if they assimilated into Greek culture. But there were those staunch faithful few that saw it for what it Waas saw it as a betrayal of the mission, the Jewish people under the Abrahamic Covenant to be the light of the God of Israel to the nations. And they revolted. They began a guerrilla war that lasted for some years that culminated in victory, they were able to, as I say, recaptured Jerusalem, rededicate the temple Andi, in the course of time, establish a semi autonomous kingdom of their own. You just mentioned that some didn't mind the influence on their nation. Um, why do you think Israel was so divided at this time and then follow up to that when they win this war? Um, just curious. Obviously you weren't there. Otherwise you'd be very old. But why do you know instead of just reasonably old? Is that what you're saying? So you know. So why do you think Israel was divided, so divided and also when they won the war? How do you think those who didn't mind that culture felt after the Greeks were defeated? Well, first one has to remember that there were Jews all over what was formerly the empire of Alexander the Great. So it wasn't just just in Israel, land of Israel and in Jerusalem, where the Jews were now, even to the days of Jesus, there was this cultural division between the Greek and the Hebrew speaking Jews. We read about this in Act six, but going back to where we are at the time of of Hanukkah, which, by the way, is about, you know 1 61 65 BC, which is, of course, 165 years before Jesus Jesus was born. We have a situation not unlike today, and I could get into this a little bit a little bit later. Not unlike today, where many, many of the Jews were attracted by the goodies that Greek civilization had to offer to them and were tempted to do the trade. The Jews have been offered the carrot in front of the Jewish nose for centuries and centuries and centuries. If on Lee you will give up your sense of your own particular distinctiveness and mission in the world and be like us, you can have the goodies that we have to offer you. And there were many Jews who were fine with that. Now you know, and even and this civil war, you know, went on for some little time after the Maccabees recaptured Jerusalem and rededicated the temple and there were actually there was actually warfare taking place between between Helen Eyes Jews who were actually on the side of the Greek Revco. Syrians and Jews who wanted to remain true to their own faith. Uh, the fact of the matter is the Maccabees who what that main means Hammer These wonderful guerrilla revolutionaries that actually managed to rest their independence from the hands of Antiochus the fourth that they were great revolutionaries. But they were terrible rulers. They became their rule just degenerated into the same despotic, ancient near East monarchy that was all over the place. You know, we think of hair. It is the as the epitome of that. But there were There were difficulties. The Maccabees took control of the high priesthood and there was always meant to be a division between the Israel like monarchy and the Israel like high priesthood. The the descendants of the Maccabees attempted to consolidate those two roles and basically place place Rooth, separation of church and state, if you will get rid of that which they were not entitled to. Dio. So there was lots and lots of struggle and conflict, and we, you know, we have echoes of that in the New Testament with the various sects and groups that were vying with each other. This is this is actually true history that was going on and it went on even in
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