- Posted December 10, 2012 by
Prague, Czech Republic
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Christmas where you live
Hanukah on Ice
The Seleucid empire evolved from the empire of Alexander the Great after his death and included the regions of Anatollia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Persia, Turmenistan and extended into Pakistan. The Seleucids under Antiochus, the Syrians overran Jerusalem and seized the Temple in 168 BCE. The Temple was then dedicated for the worship of Zeus the Greek god. A revolt ws incited by Mattathias the Hasmonian sparked the revolt by refusing to worship the pagan Greek gods; moreover he killed the Hellenistic Jew who offered to make a sacrifice in his place. Jewish religious observances aere outlawed. Mattathias and his sons fled to the wilderness where they ttracted followers who formed a militia tht attacked the superior Seleucid military. Notorious for their guerrilla attacks, the Maccabbees gain a fearsome reputation and wide support as the revolt grew. Eventually they defeated the Seleucid oppressors.
Rabbinic tradition explains that when the Maccabbean forces returned to Jerusalen, they rededicated the Temple, but they found little holy oil needed for the consecration. The opperessors had systematically defiled and violated the sanctity of the Temple, including the vestments and oil. They found a small jug of oil, barely sufficient for one day of maintaining the lamps in the Menorah. Miraculously this small portion of oil endured for the entire eight days of rededication.
Hanukah is a holiday which reprsents the spreading of light through darkness, the good triumphing over evil, and the freedom of a people from oppressive forces.
Hanukah is a time of joy in darkness and a short season of celebration. Chabad shares its joy through diverse community and educational activities in Prague, bringing families togethers to share a Hanukah on Ice.
Chabad Prague is widely known for its hospitality for wayfarers and offers educational programs for small and big kids.