What’s Hanukkah?

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Sunday School Lady explains the history of Hanukkah in Buck Denver Asks Why Do We Call It Christmas?. Watch the video to learn about the re-dedication of the temple and the miracle of the oil that lasted 8 days!

What is Hanukkah?

Sunday School Lady
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday, celebrating something that happened in Jerusalem in between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Marcy
What happened?

Sunday School Lady
Well, about 200 years before Jesus was born, Israel was controlled by the Seleucid Empire.

Buck Denver
Empires are bad, right? Like in Star Wars?

Sunday School Lady
It depends on who’s in charge. Things got very bad for the Jews, though, when Antiochus IV Epiphanes became king.

Buck Denver
That’s quite a name.

Sunday School Lady
Yes it is.

Buck Denver
I wish my name was “Buckius Eleven Denveronius.”

Sunday School Lady
Let’s stay focused.

Buck Denver
Sorry.

Sunday School Lady
Antiochus didn’t like the Jews at all, so he banned their religion! He said they couldn’t go to the temple or worship God!

Marcy
That’s terrible!

Sunday School Lady
To make it even worse, he sacrificed a pig on the altar – which was against God’s rules – then put a statue of Zeus in the Temple and told the Jews to pray to that!

Buck Denver
What?!? Zeus is a made-up god!

Sunday School Lady
I know! The Jews were so upset that five brothers led a rebellion against Antiochus! They were called the Maccabees.

Marcy
Once my dad was stung by a pack of bees.

Sunday School Lady
No, not “pack of bees,” Maccabees. The Maccabees actually beat Antiochus’s army and pushed them out of Jerusalem! Then they got rid of the statue of Zeus and spent 8 days cleaning the temple and rededicating it to the true God!

Buck Denver
That’s amazing!

Sunday School Lady
So every year Jews all over the world remember the 8 day rededication of the Temple by celebrating the 8 days of Hanukkah! Why even Jesus celebrated Hanukkah!

Buck Denver
Wait – what?

Sunday School Lady
It’s true! John 10:22 says, “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, it was winter, and Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.” The “Feast of Dedication” is now called Hanukkah!

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