Christmas more than a star!

This year the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah and Christmas coincide. Although Hanukkah is joyously celebrated it is not mentioned in the Bible. Hanukkah is linked to the story of the Maccabees, heroes of Israel, who liberated their homeland from Antiochus, the king of Syria.

His forces tried to impose their Hellenistic culture on the Jewish people. The campaign was intensified in 167 B.C.E, when Antiochus captured Jerusalem, plundered the Temple treasures and sacrificed a pig to Jupiter on the temple altar.

The Maccabees led by the five sons of the priest Mattathias resisted. They conducted a successful three-year programme that led to the cleansing and rededication of the Temple.

Because of the constraints enforced on the Jews, they were unable to celebrate the Festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. That was significant and painfully missed. Every year Sukkot is a time of great joy. My wife and I experienced the joy, fellowship and hospitality of Sukkot throughout the years we lived in Jerusalem.

Read the full article by Ron Ross in Christian Today.