At the heart of the Chanukah story lies the Holy Temple. It was here that the persecution of the Jews began under the rule of Antiochus who ordered that the Temple be desecrated and converted into a place of pagan worship. This forced Mattisyahu, son of Yochanan the High Priest, to flee to the countryside where he became the father of the Jewish resistance. His sons and followers, the Maccabees, fought bravely against all odds and were aided by Divine Providence to eventually return to Jerusalem and bring the Temple back to Jewish hands. It is their miraculous victories and efforts to restore the sacrificial service to its earlier glory which we commemorate on the holiday of Chanukah.
In this 4-week series of classes, Rabbi Yoav Elan explores the connection between the physical structure of the Second Temple and some of the core elements of the Chanukah story.