Friday, December 3, 2010
Which Chanukah are YOU Celebrating? Part One
Second glance at the story is a little more complicated. It seems that the first two Books of the Maccabees - which date from the era of the revolt or shortly after - as well as some midrashim relate the story of the uprising. In these works, the victorious rebels celebrate the holiday of Sukkot at this time of the year, as they were engaged in war when the holiday had actually fallen on the calendar. Chanukah becomes and eight day festival because Sukkot (with Shemini Atzeret) is. And the menorah part of the story is that upon entering the temple, the Maccabees and their followers fashion spears left by the Seleucid warriors into a menorah and light it. The Al Ha-Nisim prayer appears to largely follow this version of the story, highlighting the victory in battle as the miracle.