Sunday, December 29, 2019

Last night of Hanukkah

In the year 3596 on the Jewish calendar {165 BC in the common reckoning}, Jews under the leadership of Judah Maccabee liberated the city of Jerusalem from their Syrian Greek overlords, and on the 25th day of Kislev, {December 25}, rededicated the temple to God. Celebrations continued for eight days and have continued every year since as the celebration of Hanukkah. {Read a short history here.}
Israeli paratroopers at the Western Wall, June 7, 1967

During Israel’s War of Independence, 
Jordan invaded and occupied the provinces of Judea and Samaria {and renamed them the West Bank}, including the eastern side of Jerusalem, the site of the old city, where the temple once stood.

Then in 1967 {5727 on the Jewish calendar}, Jordan joined with Egypt and Syria in a war  against Israel, the stated intent: to push the Jews into the sea. Israel counter-attacked, and on the 28th of Iyar {June 7}, liberated all of Jerusalem. Since then Jerusalem Day – Yom Yerushalayim – has been a national and religious holiday, a sort of second Hanukkah, but one lasting only a day. {Read a short history here.}

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