The Story of Chanukah
In the words of Willy Eagle

Thought that I might be nice if I could share a little bit of history with all of you.

In the third century B.C.  Alexander the great crossed the Hellepont with 32,000 infantry man and shattered the armies of the empire of Persia.  By the law of "winner take all" the Jews passed under Greek rule. 

For some unexplained reason, the hot-tempered Jews did not fight  Alexander.  The High Priest of Jerusalem headed a formal procession to welcome Alexander (332 B.C.).  The Macedonian king took an instant liking to them and granted them internal political and religious freedom.  This act made him the "Patron Saint" of the Jews, if such a thing could exist.

Unfortunately, Alexander died, and the empire was split up among his Generals.  Antigonus laid claim to Greece; Seleucus took possession of Asia Minor and Syria, Ptolemy grabbed Egypt and Palestine.

All was well until around 176 B.C. when Antiochus Epiphanes (a Seleucid King) decided that the Jews were not Greek enough. 
He taxed them, & impressed them into his army.  The Jews allowed this to happen, and quietly accepted their fate. They did, until Antiochus made a major mistake. He decided to mess with the Jews religion.  He wanted to place a statue of Zeus in the Temple...Not
only did he place a stature,  but he defiled the temple by running swine
through it. 

Now you can mess with the Jews homes, their freedom, their culture, but you do not screw with their religion.

They revolted under the priest Mattathias and his five sons.
This group was known as the Maccabees (from the Hebrew word
for Hammer). 

We do know that the Jews kicked the Greeks behinds good and
drove them out of Palestine.  What most people don't know is the aftermath. 

Antiochus was captured by Simon Maccabees and taken to Jerusalem.  There he was tied to the pillar of Solomon's temple.  All the small children were  then encouraged to mount the temple steps, walk up to the pillar and pull Antiochus's nose.

You could hear the children glee as they would pull his nose
and make a honking noise (honka honka).  This later was
more formalized into a winter celebration of lights now
known as Chanukah.

This is some real history folks and I know that you know
that I would never ever lie to you.

The Columbia River Reader is printed monthly by Randy Sanders. 
P.O. Box 551 St. Helens, OR
Telephone 503 366-2201

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