Historical Perspective: Hashmonean Dynasty
Every good Zionist site needs a sweet manifesto!
142-63 BCE: As part of the ancient world conquered by Alexander the Great of Greece (332 BCE), the Land remained a Jewish theocracy under Syrian-based Seleucid rulers. When the Jews were prohibited from practicing Judaism and their Temple was desecrated as part of an effort to impose Greek-oriented culture and customs on the entire population, the Jews rose in revolt (166 BCE). First led by Mattathias of the priestly Hasmonean family and then by his son Judah the Maccabee, the Jews subsequently entered Jerusalem and purified the Temple (164 BCE), events commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.
Following further Hasmonean victories (147 BCE), the Seleucids restored autonomy to Judea, as the Land of Israel was now called, and, with the collapse of the Seleucid kingdom (129 BCE), Jewish independence was again achieved. Under the Hasmonean dynasty, which lasted about 80 years, the kingdom regained boundaries not far short of Solomon’s realm, political consolidation under Jewish rule was attained and Jewish life flourished.
How it relates to the Modern World, and this Website.
The Maccabees, and the subsequent revolt which restored both Jewish rule and the sanctity of the Jewish Ancient Temple are legendary. They represent an unending spirit, a devotion and pursuit of freedom and autonomy against daunting odds. Freedom which has throughout Human history been denied to Jews the World over in endless, Religious and Racial persecution. Their victory, and Judah the Hammer in particular (a cunning military tactician) are symbols of the burning desire that millions of Jews have cherished and held dear, in their quest to one day return to the ancient Land of Israel, which is at the very core of Judaism – A covenant between Gd and man.
Declaration of Independence
On May 14th, 1948 The Nation of Israel was reborn, from the ashes of Humankinds lowest of lows a Nation would once again claim its rightful place in the land of Judea, to nourish, protect, and provide sanctuary to a people dispersed and oppressed, yet never broken. After 2000 years of being subjected to exile, murder, theft, persecution, and genocide the Nation of Israel (which consists of Jews the World over) would forever have a home.
Never again would Jews be defenseless, never again would the monstrous crimes perpetrated against them throughout those two millennium be repeated. Once again, the mighty armies of King David, of Joshua and others throughout this people’s rich history, reborn as the Israeli Defence Forces (a conscription, civilian army) would watch over this ancient land and its peoples. Provide sanctuary, opportunity, and prosperity not only to Israel, but to all Nations through Science, Technology, Medicine, and most important of all, their Covenant and undying spirit, a spirit which above all else, cherishes life.
Modern Day Maccabees
This momentous event, prayed for over centuries, longed for, and paid for in blood is a reality within our own lifetimes, yet often taken for granted. The modern history of Israel, including spectacular military achievements in numerous defensive conflicts against overwhelming numbers, mirrors the struggles of the Ancient Jews, of the Maccabees themselves. Even today, the threats, the hatred and ugliness is mounting, scaling to heights never seen in modern history.