New Altar for Old

Peter paul Rubens, "The Triumph of Judas Maccabee," Museum of Fine Artsin Nantes

December 13 164 BCE – 25 Kislev 3598

Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias the Hasmonean, took advantage of the power vacuum in the Seleucid empire following the sudden death of Antiochus (Epiphanes) IV to capture most of Jerusalem (with the exception of the Hakra fortress) and to cleanse the Temple in Jerusalem of idols. The festival of Hanukkah commemorates the dedication of the new altar he built to replace the original first Temple stones defiled by Hellenist sacrifices