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Friday, March 15, 2013

The Maccabees: Revolution And Redemption (VIDEO)


This powerful documentary covers the stormy period in history when the Jewish People were under severe persecution and threatened assimilation that led to the revolution of the Maccabees and the story of Chanukah. The story of Hasmonean revolt in Judea (167-160BCE) against the hellenistic Seleucid empire is the beginning of a century long independent kingdom of Judea, up to the conquest by Romans in 63BCE. 

Despite the heroic victory and historic independence, the epic story of this rebellion was not included in the canonized Jewish literature. The reason for this was the disastrous consequences of revolts against Rome, which were inspired by this previous success of Maccabees struggle against Seleucid empire. Never the less the record of this event survived in two "Books of Maccabees", a "Hasmonean scroll", and also mentioned in Babylonian Talmud and in "Wars of Judea" by Josephus Flavius. 

Judah Maccabee himself fell in the battle of Elasa 161BCE (near modern RamAllah), fighting his last stand with 800 Judean troops against a large 22,000 strong army led by Seleucid general Bacchides. Despite his fall Judah's brothers continued the war up to total Seleucid defeat and withdrawal from Judea.

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