Hanukkah is the only Jewish holiday (until modern times) with verifiable historical roots. It commemorates the revolt of the Maccabees in 167-164 BCE (Before the Common Era, as Jews prefer to say), against the Greek occupation of Jerusalem and Palestine. The Greeks had imposed the rule of law, philosophy, religion, debate and governance at odds with traditional Jewish practice. The Maccabean rebellion was directed as much against Greek hegemony as against fellow Jews they accused of becoming overly "Hellenized," giving up circumcision, for example, eating pork or engaging in nude sporting matches.
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