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Hanukkah is an exciting holiday, filled with special foods, songs, games, and the giving and receiving of gifts. It is also a time when people come together to retell the story of Hanukkah. THE HANUKKAH BOOK is filled with fascinating facts, time-honored traditions, and interesting projects: The amazing story of the struggle that led to the first Hanukkah celebration Different traditions and new ways to celebrate The excitement of lighting the Hanukkah candies Complete instructions for making your own candles ...
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Hanukkah is an exciting holiday, filled with special foods, songs, games, and the giving and receiving of gifts. It is also a time when people come together to retell the story of Hanukkah. THE HANUKKAH BOOK is filled with fascinating facts, time-honored traditions, and interesting projects: The amazing story of the struggle that led to the first Hanukkah celebration Different traditions and new ways to celebrate The excitement of lighting the Hanukkah candies Complete instructions for making your own candles Wonderful Hanukkah foods, with recipes included Celebration games and how to play them Step-by-step instructions for making a very special dreidel Gift-giving ideas for Hanukkah with gifts you can make yourself and much, much more
FOR EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO BE PART OF AWONDERFUL CELEBRATION AND UNDERSTAND THE TRUE MEANING OF HANUKKAH
Discusses why and how Hanukkah is celebrated and includes recipes, songs, and instructions for playing with a dreidel.
0ne day in the year 332 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era), Alexander the Great marched into Jerusalem. The young Greek king had defeated the Persian armies just two years earlier. That victory had given him control over all that the Persians had ruled. This empire included Judea, the land of the Jews, the land with Jerusalem as its capital city.
Much to Alexander's surprise, his soldiers met no resistance in Jerusalem. Quite the opposite! The Jewish High Priest came with a procession to greet him. Alexander was pleased by this welcome. He proved to be a tolerant leader, who allowed the Jews to govern themselves in many ways. He allowed them to observe their religious laws and he did not insist that young Jewish men join his army. For their part, the Jews declared that they would name all male babies born in the first year of his reign Alexander.
The Jews were used to being ruled by foreigners. The change in power from the Persians to the Greeks seemed to mean that taxes were ultimately paid to someone else, little more. The actual collecting of the taxes, as well as other governing tasks over Judea, were carried out by the Jewish High Priest in Jerusalem and Alexander did not interfere with this practice.
The Temple in Jerusalem was the seat of the High Priest's governing. It was the most important building in Jerusalem and in all of Judea. More than a governing institution, it was a visible reminder of God's presence and a source of great pride. Especially in the face of foreign rule, the Temple was a unifying bond for all Jews.
Farmers who lived in Jerusalem or in the small villages that surrounded the city's walls came to theTemple to offer sacrifices to God. With the city's artisans and merchants, they gathered at the Temple, maintaining the strength of their religious beliefs. The change from Persian rule to Alexander's leadership didn't change their day-to-day existence, or their reverence for their religion, at least not right away.
But Alexander had a dream of how the world might be under his rule. He wanted to do more than just receive taxes from conquered peoples. He wanted to spread the Greek way of life everywhere. It was fine for people to govern themselves and, for now, to observe their own ways of life. But Alexander wanted to unite eventually all people into one culture, the Greek culture. He wanted them to learn the Greek language, and to study Greek philosophy, science, and art. Alexander planned to do this by encouraging his soldiers to move into various parts of his empire. They would live with the people there, marry and start families. In time, the soldiers would help the people learn about Greek customs and Greek thought.
The Jews were not excluded from Alexander's dream. But to Jews, learning about Greek ways posed no major problem. It was interesting to study new ideas, to learn a new language and customs. Besides, Jews were still able to live their lives by their own religious beliefs, following the Law of the Torah.
Does that seem so different than it is today in the United States? The government and many of the national customs and holidays have little to do with being Jewish. But it is possible to live as a Jew here today, and, at the same time, enjoy being an American. Thanksgiving and July 4th aren't Jewish celebrations, but ones that Jews can enjoy. Pizza, chow mein, and tacos aren't Jewish foods, but lots of Jews find them tasty. In Judea at the time of Alexander's rule, parts of life were lived the Greek way; and, for Jews, parts of life were lived the Jewish way. You can look at it as a sharing of two worlds.
Posted January 5, 2008
I originally bought this book to share with my children the treasure of celebrating Hanukkah as Jewish friends shared it with me in my youth. Now I re-read it in celebration every year. This year I started buying it for other young friends.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.