Judas Maccabeus, Judah the third son of the five sons of the Priest Mattathias, accomplished what no reasonable leader could have believed possible.
Irrational Judas "the Hammerer" confronted a vast empire and triumphed.
This Dec. 12, just after sundown the 11th, the Feast of Hanukkah (Hanukkah: "rededication") will begin its eight-day celebration of so impossible a liberation.
On a cold winter's day — nearly two centuries after the Maccabean rededication of the temple — Jesus strolls in the eastern portico of the temple's grand esplanade, its wall protecting him and others against the bitter winds that sweep in across the glittering wilderness. He is celebrating Hanukkah no less than any other Jew.
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