The Miracle of Chanukah

Some of you know that I have a habit of destroying the Chanukah story for folks. So, if you are happy with your understanding of Chanukah, stop reading now… The miraculous story of the oil lasting eight glorious nights is a wonderful Jewish legend that was developed by the rabbis hundreds of years after the “real” Chanukah story. This “real” story documented a war between our Jewish heroes, the Maccabbees, and the Greeks who did everything in the their power to destroy Judaism and her holy Temple. Around 165 BCE (before the year 0), the Maccabbees were victorious, defeating the Greeks and regaining the Temple that had been plundered and defiled.  In an attempt to purify the Temple, the Maccabbees rededicated (Chanukah means dedication) the holy structure by burning the Menorah (the seven branched candelabra that stood in the Temple) for eight days and established an annual eight-day festival where lights…