Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011

The Mystery of Hanukkah

For a holiday that's so popular, Hanukkah gets little publicity in ancient Jewish literature. Unlike all other major Jewish holidays, Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Old Testament. This is because the events leading up to the holiday took place after the Hebrew Bible was compiled. The story can be found in Books 1 and 2 of Maccabees, but these are not considered part of the canon. Even the discussion of Hanukkah in the Talmud, the rabbinic commentary on the Hebrew Bible, begins by asking, "What is Hanukkah?"