December 18, 2011 by staff
“Hanukkah is not Jewish Christmas. We celebrate it the same time of year (as Christmas). That’s the only similarity of the two holidays,” said Helena Atlas-Acuna, a member of Temple Emmanuel, Pueblo’s oldest Jewish faith community.
Atlas-Acuna was the keynote speaker at the Celebrate Hanukkah program Saturday at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, which also featured games and singing.
The Hanukkah story dates back to 168 BCE (before common era), when Syrian-Greek soldiers seized the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and Emperor Antiochus outlawed Judaism, making it punishable by death.
A band of Jewish rebels sprang up, called the Maccabees, and after three years of war reclaimed their lands and right of their religion.
They took back the temple in Jerusalem, which had been spiritually defiled with the worship of Greek gods and sacrifice of hogs.
The temple was cleansed and spiritually rededicated.
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