The Story of Chanukah
by Marta Herschkopf, age 10
A long time ago the Greeks led by Alexander the Great, their king, were trying to take over the world. They were very good fighters and were succeeding so far. They defeated Persia, who was ruling the land of Israel and then marched off to the Jews' holy land.
When they reached Jerusalem, they put it under Grecian rule. The Jews weren't sure if they wanted to become Greek. So the Greeks put up an idol and commanded the Jews to bow to it. Then a man named Matityaho spoke up and cried, "All Jews who wish to obey Hashim follow me!"
He was joined by his sons and other Jews. They gathered weapons and fled for the mountains. There they kept the Sabbath and all of the Torah's commandments.
Meanwhile the Greeks had taken over Israel. They had gone to the Holy Temple and placed a huge idol inside. Then they overturned tables and altars and knocked down the golden Menorah. Indeed, the temple was destroyed.
Then they descended upon the Jews in the hills. They were led by Matitayo's oldes son Judah. These Jews got the name Maccabbees, which means "hammers," in Hebrew because they fought with the power of hammers.
The real miracle of Chanukah was that even though there were so many Greeks, and so few Maccabees, the Maccabees won and chased the Greeks out of Jerusalem.
The first thing they did was they went to the temple and lit the Menorah. But they found only enough oil for one day. But the oil lasted for eight days which is the best known miracle of Chanukah.
- originally published in the Holiday 1994 issue of ZuZu
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