Eight Crazy Nights

December 20, 2011

Hola!

I’m headed to Minnesota today  — I haven’t been home in a whole year. I bet so much has changed. Or not.

So Hanukkah starts tonight, you guys! The festival of lights! Adam Sandler loves this holiday. As does the holiday armadillo.

So Hanukkah is a holiday that commemorates an event that happened during the intertestamental period — the time in between the Old Testament and New Testament. After the people of Israel came back into their land after the Babylonian exile, there were other conquerors and nations to deal with. Eventually, the land of Israel was ruled by the Seleucid Dynasty. In 167 B.C. the Seleucid ruler Antiochus Epiphanes decided that the people he ruled were being way too Jewish and instead should become more Greek (Hellenized). Antiochus was pretty awful — he outlawed Sabbath worship, and he took over the temple and encouraged the worship of Greek gods and the sacrificing of pigs (a non-Kosher animal). He was the worst.

You iz mean, Antiochus!

The Greeks came to the village of Modi’in one day and set up an altar. They made the Jews bring a pig to the altar to sacrifice it. An old priest named Mattathias was so enraged by this blasphemy that he killed the Jew that was about to obey the Greeks. He and his sons (including Judah the Maccabee) then fought the Greeks in their town and began fighting all the Greeks using guerrilla warfare. They continued fighting and they actually drove the Seleucids out of Israel. They reclaimed Jerusalem and the temple so that they could worship the one true God there again. There was only a little bit of oil in the temple when they reclaimed it — enough to last one day. They lit the temple menorah, but it miraculously burned for eight days!

So, that’s Hanukkah! I have a menorah and I plan to light it for the next eight days. So there!

I’ve been too scared to read more of The Hunger Games. JK, I’ve just been busy. But I’m getting dropped off at the airport early today, so I’ll have lots of time to read and people watch. I’ll try to take pictures for you.

Talk to you soon!

Denisey

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