December 05, 2007

Today in Jewish History - Kislev 25

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In 165 BCE, the Maccabees defeated the Greek army and rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Finding only one jar of pure oil, they lit the Menorah, which miraculously burned for eight days. Also on this day -- 1,100 years earlier -- Moses and the Jewish people completed construction of the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary that accompanied them during 40 years of wandering in the desert. The Tabernacle was not dedicated, however, for another three months; tradition says that the day of Kislev 25 was then "compensated" centuries later -- when the miracle of Chanukah occurred and the Temple was rededicated. Today, Jews around the world light a Chanukah menorah, to commemorate the miracle of the oil, and its message that continues to illuminate our lives today.