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2 Maccabees, Book

Channah, Daughter of Mattathias: Instigator of the Maccabean Rebellion

1 Maccabees recounts how Mattathias instigated a rebellion against the Greeks out of zealotry against Jewish idolatry. Later midrashim tell how Mattathias’ daughter Channah goaded her father and brothers into fighting the Greeks to protect her from being raped by the local governor.

Prof.

Rachel Adelman

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2 and 4 Maccabees: Evolving Responses to Hellenism

2 Maccabees (ca. 1st cent. B.C.E) presents Judaism as the antithesis to Hellenism. A century or so later, however, 4 Maccabees uses Hellenistic ideas to encourage Jews to hold fast to their ancestral faith.

Dr.

Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz

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Chanukah and the Politics Behind the Maccabean Revolt

The story of the Maccabees is known as a battle between traditionalists and assimilationists, the latter supported by the Seleucid kings. But what do the books of and 2 Maccabees, with their elaborate descriptions of alliances and power plays, really tell us about the revolt?

Prof.

Eric Orlin

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The Faith of the Martyred Mother and her Seven Sons

2 Maccabees tells the story of a mother whose seven sons are killed before her eyes because they refuse to violate Jewish mores. The mother recalls the woman of seven sons and her bereft counterpart found in Hannah’s prayer (1 Samuel 2), and perhaps also the mother in Jerusalem described in Jeremiah 15, but offers a new theological twist on Jewish suffering: the promise of resurrection.

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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The Original Meaning of Chanukah

Why did Judah Maccabee establish the holiday? What were the religious and political factors ​that inspired the Maccabees to promote it throughout Judea and the diaspora?

Prof.

Eyal Regev

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Jewish Attitudes Towards the Land of Israel during the Time of the Second Temple

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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The Biblical Building Blocks of Chanukah

Biblical concepts about the Second Temple, its purification, and dedication strongly inform the development of Chanukah’s earliest customs and symbols.

Dr.

Yael Avrahami

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Uncovering the Truth About Chanukah

Dr.

Malka Z. Simkovich

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