The New York Times 12/11/09 – David Brooks ► Tonight Jewish kids will light the menorah, spin their dreidels and get their presents, but Hanukkah is the most adult of holidays. It commemorates an event in which the good guys did horrible things, the bad guys did good things and in which everybody is flummoxed by insoluble conflicts that remain with us today.
1 Maccabees ch. 2 ► 23 There came a certain Jew in the sight of all to sacrifice to the idols upon the altar in the city of Modin, according to the king's commandment. 24 And Mathathias saw and was grieved, and his reins trembled, and his wrath was kindled according to the judgment of the law, and running upon him he slew him upon the altar. 25 Moreover the man whom king Antiochus had sent, who compelled them to sacrifice, he slew at the same time, and pulled down the altar. 26 And showed zeal for the law, as Phinees did by Zamri the son of Salomi.
I Maccabees 1:11 ► ► In those days there appeared in Israel men who were breakers of the law, and ► ► they seduced many people, saying: "Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles all around us; since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us.“ ► ► Cf. Jer 44:18
► What is Hellenism? ► Why did Antiochus persecute the Jews? ► Why do we celebrate for 8 days? ► Why do we celebrate on Kislev 25 th ? ► What can Hanukka mean for us today?
Cyrus Cylinder ► [28-33] By his exalted word, all the kings who sit upon thrones throughout the world, from the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea [i.e., from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf], who live in the districts far-off, the kings of the West, who dwell in tents, all of them, brought their heavy tribute before me and in Babylon they kissed my feet. From Babylon to Aššur and from Susa, Agade, Ešnunna, Zamban, Me- Turnu, Der, as far as the region of Gutium, the sacred centers on the other side of the Tigris, whose sanctuaries had been abandoned for a long time, I returned the images of the gods, who had resided there [i.e., in Babylon], to their places and I let them dwell in eternal abodes. I gathered all their inhabitants and returned to them their dwellings. In addition, at the command of Marduk, the great lord, I settled in their habitations, in pleasing abodes, the gods of Sumer and Akkad, whom Nabonidus, to the anger of the lord of the gods, had brought into Babylon. ► [34-36] May all the gods whom I settled in their sacred centers ask daily of Bêl and Nâbu that my days be long and may they intercede for my welfare. May they say to Marduk, my lord: "As for Cyrus, the king who reveres you, and Cambyses, his son, [lacuna]." The people of Babylon blessed my kingship, and I settled all the lands in peaceful abodes.
A seal from the 6 th cent. BCE “Belonging to Yehoyishma, daughter of Sawas-sar-usur.” Sawas-sar-usur is a well-known neo-Babylonian name that means "Shamash [the Babylonian sun- god] protect the king
Rebuilding of Temple ► Texts: Ezra 1-6, Haggai 1 ► People Involved Sheshbazzar – Yehoyachin’s son Zerubabel – Yehoyachin’s grandson Haggai Zechariah ► Dates Commences in Darius I’s 2 nd year = 520 Finished on Adar 3 of Darius’ 6 th year = March 516
Important Dates ► 587 BCE Destruction of Bet haMikdash I ► 539 BCE Cyrus destroys Babylonia, decrees that Jews can return ► 520-516 BCE Rebuilding of Bet haMikdash II ► חגי ב : יח – שִׂימוּ נָא לְבַבְכֶם, מִן הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וָמָעְלָה מִיּוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה לַתְּשִׁיעִי, לְמִן - הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר - יֻסַּד הֵיכַל יְ - הוָה שִׂימוּ לְבַבְכֶם. ► 5 th century – Ezra and Nehemiah ► 332 BCE Alexander the Great conquers Judea and Persian Empire
Unifying the Empire Alexander encouraged intermarriages, setting an example by marrying a Persian princess himself. He placed soldiers from all the provinces in his army. He introduced a uniform currency system throughout the empire and promoted trade and commerce. He encouraged the spread of Greek ideas, customs, and laws into Asia. When he heard that some of his provincial officials ruled unjustly, he replaced them. To receive recognition as the supreme ruler, he required the provinces to worship him as a god.
Arrian of NicomediaArrian of Nicomedia on Weddings at Susa Arrian of Nicomedia ► Then he also celebrated weddings at Susa, both his own and those of his Companions. He himself married Barsine, the eldest of Darius' daughters, and, according to Aristobulus, another girl as well, Parysatis, the youngest of the daughters of Ochus. He had already married previously Roxane, the daughter of Oxyartes of Bactria. SusaBarsineAristobulusRoxaneBactriaSusaBarsineAristobulusRoxaneBactria ► He gave Drypetis to Hephaestion, she too a daughter of Darius and a sister of his own wife; his intention was that the children of Hephaestion should be cousins to his own children. To Craterus he gave Amastris daughter of Oxyathres, brother of Darius, and to Perdiccas the daughter of Atropates, satrap of Media. To Ptolemy the bodyguard and to Eumenes the royal secretary he gave the daughters of Artabazus, Artacama to one and Artonis to the other. To Nearchus he gave the daughter of Barsine and Mentor, and to Seleucus the daughter of Spitamenes of Bactria. Similarly he gave to the other Companions the noblest daughters of the Persians and Medes, some eighty in all. HephaestionCraterusOxyathresPerdiccasAtropatesMediaPtolemybodyguardEumenes ArtabazusNearchusBarsineMentorSeleucusSpitamenesHephaestionCraterusOxyathresPerdiccasAtropatesMediaPtolemybodyguardEumenes ArtabazusNearchusBarsineMentorSeleucusSpitamenes ► The marriages were celebrated according to Persian custom. Chairs were placed for the bridegrooms in order, and after the drinks the brides came in and sat down, each by the side of her groom. They took them by the hand and kissed them; the king began the ceremony, for all the weddings took place together. More than any action of Alexander this seemed to show a popular and comradely spirit. The bridegrooms after receiving their brides led them away, each to his own home, and to all Alexander gave a dowry. And as for all the Macedonians who had already married Asian women, Alexander ordered a list of their names to be drawn up; they numbered over 10,000, and Alexander offered them all gifts their wedding. ► The marriages were celebrated according to Persian custom. Chairs were placed for the bridegrooms in order, and after the drinks the brides came in and sat down, each by the side of her groom. They took them by the hand and kissed them; the king began the ceremony, for all the weddings took place together. More than any action of Alexander this seemed to show a popular and comradely spirit. The bridegrooms after receiving their brides led them away, each to his own home, and to all Alexander gave a dowry. And as for all the Macedonians who had already married Asian women, Alexander ordered a list of their names to be drawn up; they numbered over 10,000, and Alexander offered them all gifts their wedding. Macedonians
High Priests Shimon ha-Sadiq Onias III Jason (Yehoshua) (175-171) Meneleus (171-161) Sadok Jonathan the Hasmonean
Hellenistic Period ► 332BCE Alexander the Great conquers Palestine ► 323BCE Alexander dies Diadochi, Ptolemy in Egypt, Seleucus in Syria ► 301-201BCE Ptolemaic Rule Allowed to continue as semiautonomous ► 201BCE Seleucid conquest of Palestine ► 175-171BCE Jason High Priest bribes Antiochus IV for high priesthood builds gymnasium in Jerusalem which becomes a polis – “Antioch” ► 171-162BCE Menelaus High Priest Converts temple into pagan shrine, YHVH=Zeus=Baal Shamin ► 168BCE – Bet haMikdash is looted, Jews are massacred ► 167-166 Antiochus IV decrees persecution ► 164 Judah conquers Jerusalem and rededicates the Temple
Why did Antiochus Persecute the Jews? 1. He was crazy, nervous, eccentric. May have hastened the persecution but not caused it. 2. He was a Great Hellenizer and unifier But only for political ends by making poleis, not cultural. 3. The Jewish Hellenizers asked for the decrees. 4. Decrees result from a civil war.
Megilat Ta’anit ► בעשרים ושלושה במרחשון נסתר הסורג מן העזרה. מפני שבנו שם גוים מקום, והעמידו עליו את הזונות. וכשתקפה יד בית חשמונאי נטלוהו מהן, וסתרוהו, ומצאו שם אבנים טובות, ונמנו עליהן וגנזו אותן. והן מונחות עד היום הזה, עד שיבוא אליהו ויעיד עליהן אם טמאות הן אם טהורות. יום שסתרוהו עשאוהו יום טוב. ► בשלושה בכסליו ניטלו הפסלים מן החצר מפני שבנו שם גוים סימואתא, וכשגברה יד בית חשמונאי בטלום והוציאום משם. יום שבטלום עשאוהו יום טוב.
Haggai 2:18 ► שִׂימוּ - נָא לְבַבְכֶם, מִן - הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וָמָעְלָה ; מִיּוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה לַתְּשִׁיעִי, לְמִן - הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר - יֻסַּד הֵיכַל יְ - הוָה שִׂימוּ לְבַבְכֶם. ► Consider, I pray you, from this day and forward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of Hashem’s temple was laid, consider it.
I Maccabees 1 ► 54 Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred forty-fifth year, they erected a desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt offering. They also built altars in the surrounding towns of Judah, 55and offered incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets. 56The books of the law that they found they tore to pieces and burned with fire. 57Anyone found possessing the book of the covenant, or anyone who adhered to the law, was condemned to death by decree of the king. 58They kept using violence against Israel, against those who were found month after month in the towns. 59On the twenty-fifth day of the month they offered sacrifice on the altar that was on top of the altar of burnt offering.
Winter Solstice Holiday תלמוד בבלי מסכת עבודה זרה דף ח עמוד א ► גמ '. אמר רב חנן בר רבא : קלנדא - ח ' ימים אחר תקופה, סטרנורא - ח ' ימים לפני תקופה, וסימנך : ( תהלים קלט ) אחור וקדם צרתני וגו '. ► ת " ר : לפי שראה אדם הראשון יום שמתמעט והולך, אמר : אוי לי, שמא בשביל שסרחתי עולם חשוך בעדי וחוזר לתוהו ובוהו, וזו היא מיתה שנקנסה עלי מן השמים, עמד וישב ח ' ימים בתענית [ ובתפלה ], כיון שראה תקופת טבת וראה יום שמאריך והולך, אמר : מנהגו של עולם הוא, הלך ועשה שמונה ימים טובים, לשנה האחרת עשאן לאלו ולאלו ימים טובים, הוא קבעם לשם שמים, והם קבעום לשם עבודת כוכבים. בשלמא למ " ד : בתשרי נברא העולם, יומי זוטי חזא, יומי אריכי אכתי לא חזא ; אלא למ " ד : בניסן נברא העולם, הא חזא ליה יומי זוטי ויומי אריכי ! [ דהוי ] זוטי כולי האי לא חזא. ► ת " ר : יום שנברא בו אדם הראשון, כיון ששקעה עליו חמה, אמר : אוי לי, שבשביל שסרחתי עולם חשוך בעדי ויחזור עולם לתוהו ובוהו, וזו היא מיתה שנקנסה עלי מן השמים, היה יושב [ בתענית ] ובוכה כל הלילה וחוה בוכה כנגדו, כיון שעלה עמוד השחר, אמר : מנהגו של עולם הוא.
Winter Solstice ► Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zara 8a ► Our Rabbis taught: When Adam saw the day getting gradually shorter, he said, ‘Woe is me, perhaps because I have sinned, the world around me is being darkened and returning to its state of chaos and confusion; this then is the kind of death to which I have been sentenced from Heaven!’ So he began keeping an eight days’ fast. But as he observed the winter solstice and noted the day getting increasingly longer, he said, ‘This is the world's course’, and he set forth to keep an eight days’ festivity. In the following year he appointed both as festivals. Now, he fixed them for the sake of Heaven, but the [heathens] appointed them for the sake of idolatry.
Josephus is in the “Dark” Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 12:7 ► Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the temple for eight days, and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon; but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honored God, and delighted them by hymns and psalms. Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs, when, after a long time of intermission, they unexpectedly had regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for their posterity, that they should keep a festival, on account of the restoration of their temple worship, for eight days. And from that time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it Lights. I suppose the reason was, because this liberty beyond our hopes appeared to us; and that thence was the name given to that festival. Judas also rebuilt the walls round about the city, and reared towers of great height against the incursions of enemies, and set guards therein. He also fortified the city Bethsura, that it might serve as a citadel against any distresses that might come from our enemies.
Lit for Eight Days ► תלמוד בבלי מסכת שבת דף כא עמוד ב ► מאי חנוכה ? דתנו רבנן : בכ " ה בכסליו יומי דחנוכה תמניא אינון, דלא למספד בהון ודלא להתענות בהון. שכשנכנסו יוונים להיכל טמאו כל השמנים שבהיכל, וכשגברה מלכות בית חשמונאי ונצחום, בדקו ולא מצאו אלא פך אחד של שמן שהיה מונח בחותמו של כהן גדול, ולא היה בו אלא להדליק יום אחד, נעשה בו נס והדליקו ממנו שמונה ימים. לשנה אחרת קבעום ועשאום ימים טובים בהלל והודאה.
► What is [the reason of] Hanukkah? For our Rabbis taught: On the twenty-fifth of Kislev [commence] the days of Hanukkah, which are eight on which a lamentation for the dead and fasting are forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oils therein, and when the Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them, they made search and found only one cruse of oil which lay with the seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient for one day's lighting only; yet a miracle was wrought therein and they lit [the lamp] therewith for eight days. The following year these [days] were appointed a Festival with [the recital of] Hallel and thanksgiving.
Eight Metal Spits ► פסיקתא רבתי ( איש שלום ) פרשה ב ד " ה ילמדנו רבינו נר ► ולמה מדליק נרות בחנוכה אלא בשעה שנצחו בניו של חשמונאי הכהן הגדול למלכות יון שנאמר ועוררת בניך ציון על בניך יון ( זכריה ט ' י " ג ) נכנסו לבית המקדש מצאו שם שמונה שפודין של ברזל וקבעו אותם והדליקו בתוכם נרות,
► II Maccabees 2:12 - Solomon also celebrated the feast in the same way for eight days.
Like Sukkoth II Maccabees 10 Now Maccabeus and his followers, the Lord leading them on, recovered the temple and the city; 2. they tore down the altars that had been built in the public square by the foreigners, and also destroyed the sacred precincts. 3. They purified the sanctuary, and made another altar of sacrifice; then, striking fire out of flint, they offered sacrifices, after a lapse of two years, and they offered incense and lighted lamps and set out the bread of the Presence. Now Maccabeus and his followers, the Lord leading them on, recovered the temple and the city; 2. they tore down the altars that had been built in the public square by the foreigners, and also destroyed the sacred precincts. 3. They purified the sanctuary, and made another altar of sacrifice; then, striking fire out of flint, they offered sacrifices, after a lapse of two years, and they offered incense and lighted lamps and set out the bread of the Presence. 4. When they had done this, they fell prostrate and implored the Lord that they might never again fall into such misfortunes, but that, if they should ever sin, they might be disciplined by him with forbearance and not be handed over to blasphemous and barbarous nations. 5. It happened that on the same day on which the sanctuary had been profaned by the foreigners, the purification of the sanctuary took place, that is, on the twenty-fifth day of the same month, which was Chislev. 4. When they had done this, they fell prostrate and implored the Lord that they might never again fall into such misfortunes, but that, if they should ever sin, they might be disciplined by him with forbearance and not be handed over to blasphemous and barbarous nations. 5. It happened that on the same day on which the sanctuary had been profaned by the foreigners, the purification of the sanctuary took place, that is, on the twenty-fifth day of the same month, which was Chislev. 6. They celebrated it for eight days with rejoicing, in the manner of the festival of booths, remembering how not long before, during the festival of booths, they had been wandering in the mountains and caves like wild animals. 7. Therefore, carrying ivy-wreathed wands and beautiful branches and also fronds of palm, they offered hymns of thanksgiving to him who had given success to the purifying of his own holy place. 8. They decreed by public edict, ratified by vote, that the whole nation of the Jews should observe these days every year. 9. Such then was the end of Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes.
בבלי שבת כא ע " ב ► Our Rabbis taught: The precept of Hanukkah [demands] one light for a man and his household; the zealous [kindle] a light for each member [of the household]; and the extremely zealous, — Beth Shammai maintain: On the first day eight lights are lit and thereafter they are gradually reduced, but Beth Hillel say: On the first day one is lit and thereafter they are progressively increased. ‘Ulla said: In the West [Palestine] two amoraim, R. Jose b. Abin and R. Jose b. Zebida, differ therein: one maintains, The reason of Beth Shammai is that it shall correspond to the days still to come, and that of Beth Hillel is that it shall correspond to the days that are gone; but another maintains: Beth Shammai's reason is that it shall correspond to the bullocks of the Festival; whilst Beth Hillel's reason is that we promote in [matters of] sanctity but do not reduce.
2 Maccabees 6:7 ► On the monthly celebration of the king’s birthday, the Jews were taken, under bitter constraint, to partake of the sacrifices; and when a festival of Dionysus was celebrated, they were compelled to wear wreaths of ivy and to walk in the procession in honor Dionysus.
► The original medieval dice used in Germany by gamblers was inscribed with the four letters: N, G, H, and S, which are the initials: Nichts (“nothing”), Ganz (“all”), Halb (“half”), and Stellein (“put in”). – Encyclopedia Judaica “Folklore”
Kedushefy ► Winter Solstice becomes religious day of hope and trust in Hashem. ► Celebration of lights becomes symbol of Hashem’s providence even in times of darkness. ► Ivy bands for Dionysis become part of rededication celebration. ► European gambling game becomes symbol of perseverance.
1. Mattathias ben Johanan [ ? - 165 BCE] Mattathias ben JohananMattathias ben Johanan Hasmonean Dynasty Hasmonean Dynasty _____ _____________ __ _ __________|_____ ___ ________________________ | | | | | Johanan Gaddi 4. Simon Thassi [ruled 142-134 BCE] Simon ThassiSimon Thassi 2. Judah Maccabee [ ? - 160 BCE] Judah MaccabeeJudah Maccabee Eleazar Avaron 3. Jonathan Apphus [ruled 160-142 BCE] Jonathan ApphusJonathan Apphus _____ ________|____ __ ___________ | | | Mattathias [ ?-134 BCE] Judah [ ?- 134 BCE] 5. Johanan Hyrcanus [ruled 134-104 BCE] Johanan HyrcanusJohanan Hyrcanus _________ __________|_____ ___ _________ | | | 6. Aristobulus I (Judah) [ruled 104-103 BCE] Aristobulus IAristobulus I Antigonus (Matthew) [ ? - 104 BCE] 7. Alexander Jannai (Jonathan) [ruled 103-76 BCE] Alexander JannaiAlexander Jannai= 8. Salome Alexandra [ruled 76-67 BCE] Salome AlexandraSalome Alexandra ___________________| | | 10. Hyrcanus II (Jonathan) [ruled 63-40 (d. 30) BCE] Hyrcanus II Hyrcanus II 9. Aristobulus II (Judah) [ruled 67-63 (d. 49) BCE] Aristobulus IIAristobulus II ||_______| ___ _ | Alexandra [ ? - 28 BCE] = Alexander [ ? - 49 BCE] 11. Antigonus (Matthe) [ruled 40-37 BCE] Antigonus __________| Aristobulus III [ ? - 35 BCE] | | | | Mariamne Mariamne [ ? - 29 BCE] Mariamne= 12. Herod (the Great) [ruled 38-4 BCE] Herod (the Great) Herod (the Great) ________|_____ | | Aristobulus IV Aristobulus IV [ ca 31 - 7 BCE] Aristobulus IV Alexander [ ca 30 - 7 BCE] Elephant fell on him
Judah the Maccabee ► 167-160 BCE ► Led the revolt against the Seleucids ► Purified the Temple in 164 BCE
Jonathan ► Ruler 161-143 BCE ► Brother of Judah ► first Hasmonean to be High Priest in 153 BCE
Simon ► Ethnarch and High Priest ► 142-135 BCE ► Is granted tax exemption from Demetrius II ► Removes Seleucid garrison in Jerusalem ► Gains total political independence ► Murdered by his son-in-law together with two older sons
John Hyrcanus ► Ethnarch and High Priest ► Son of Simon ► 134-104 BCE ► Forced the Idumeans to convert (including Antipater’s father, grandfather of Herod) ► Destroys Samaritan Temple in 128BCE
► Coin of John Hyrcanus (135-104 BCE) ► יהונתן הכהן הגדול וחבר היהודים
Double Perutah coin of John Hyrcanus. Pair of cornucopiae and a crested helmet. Reads: “Yehochanan the High Priest and Leader of the Community of the Jews.”
Judah Aristobulus I ► King and High Priest ► 104-103BCE ► Son of John Hyrcanus ► First to call himself king ► Imprisons mother and three brothers. Kills another brother. ► Married to Salome Alexandra
► Coin of Judah Aristobulus ► יהודה הכהן הגדול וחבר היהודים
Alexander Yannai ► King and High Priest ► 103-76 BCE ► Son of Johan Hyrcanus ► Married Salome Alexandra, his brother’s widow ► Practiced Sadduecean law and was pelted by Etrogim. Kills 6,000 Jews in retaliations. ► Killed 50,000 in civil war. ► Crucified 800 Pharisees ► Advises his wife before dying to yield to the Pharisees!
Alexander Yannai " יהונתן הכהן הגדול וחבר היהודים "
► Sun wheel, “ יהונתן המלך “ ► Anchor, “King Alexander” in Greek
► Flower and Anchor with “King Yannai” ► Restamped with “Yonatan the High Priest and the Community of the Jews” ► Went back to original type
Salome Alexandra & Sons ► Salome is queen of Judea 76-67 BCE ► Her two sons Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II fight over the crown. Both appeal for help from the Romans. ► Pompey imprisons Aristobulus II and makes Hyrcanus II high priest in 63BCE. ► Hyrcanus serves 63-40BCE ► Antignos serves 40-37BCE ► Herod marries Mariamne, granddaughter of Hyrcanus and Aristobulus.
Josephus on Pompey ► No small enormities were committed about the temple itself, which, in former ages, had been inaccessible, and seen by none; for Pompey went into it, and not a few of those that were with him also, and saw all that which it was unlawful for any other men to see but only for the high priests. ► There were in that temple the golden table, the holy candlestick, and the pouring vessels, and a great quantity of spices; and besides these there were among the treasures two thousand talents of sacred money: yet did Pompey touch nothing of all this, on account of his regard to religion; and in this point also he acted in a manner that was worthy of his virtue. ► The next day he gave order to those that had the charge of the temple to cleanse it, and to bring what offerings the law required to God; and restored the high priesthood to Hyrcanus, both because he had been useful to him in other respects, and because he hindered the Jews in the country from giving Aristobulus any assistance in his war against him Antiquities 14.4
Pompey Enters the Holy of Holies ► The first Roman to subdue the Jews and set foot into their Temple by right of conquest was Gnaeus Pompey: thereafter it was a matter of common knowledge that there were no representations of the gods within, but that the place was empty and the secret shrine contained nothing. Tacitus Histories 5.11-12