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Rabbi Rifat Sonsino, Ph.D.

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The Hebrew word hanukkah means "dedication," and refers to the rededication of the second temple to the service of God during the successful revolt of the Maccabees against the Seleucid rulers of Syria in the second century BCE. Here is a brief history of the events that led to the rededication (Hebrew Hanukkah) of the temple.

After the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BCE, his generals divided his huge Greek Empire into various parts: Ptolemy I Soter took Egypt and Seleucus I Nicanor obtained Syria and the eastern provinces. In 301 BCE, Judea and Phoenicia were finally...

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