A very long time ago there was a man called Philip of Macedon who set out to conquer the known world. He got pretty far, but ultimately failed. His son, Alexander, did a whole lot better. He even managed to get as far as India, but they had elephants in their armies and that was just too freaky. He still managed to defeat a whole lot of countries and was given the epithet of Great.
Anyway, Alexander died in his 30's and his empire got split into four parts. The part containing what is now called Israel went to a Syrian named Antioch. Since Alexander idolized the Greeks, for the sake of this story and simplicity we'll refer to Antioch and his army as Those Evil Greeks.
As I was saying, Evil Greek King Antioch got a whole lot of land to rule including that occupied by the Jews. He didn't get along with them too well. In fact, he forbid them from worshiping their god, trashed the synagogues, brought pigs into them and worst of all put out the everlasting light, the menorah, that is supposed to burn inside the temple eternally.
Clearly the Jews weren't too happy about this, but what could they do? They were farmers and the Greeks were warriors. Then one bright soul, Juda the Macabee, had a great idea...why fight fair? If they couldn't beat them with brawn, there was always the matter of brains...
So the Jews, in the first recorded instance of guerilla warfare, fought back against the Greeks. They used every dirty trick they could invent, ambushing the soldiers and attacking with farm tools, etc. etc. The Greeks were used to fighting in rigid phalanxes and totally panicked at this unconventional means of warfare. The Jews won!
The first thing the Jews did after winning back their homeland was go clean up the big temple. They kicked out the pigs, cleaned up as best they could and went to go light the menorah, but found they only had enough sacred oil for one day. Well, they lit it anyway and went off into the mountains to get more oil. It took them eight days and when they returned, the light was still burning! Everyone agreed this was a miracle, a sign that G-d knew that they had tried their best and triumphed, but when His people were met with an impossible task, He picked up the slack and that is why Chanukah is celebrated.
Please note the main story will be taking a break until Thursday December 5th and in the interim I will be running feline fun filled guest strips. I hope you enjoy some different takes on kitty humor! Happy Chanukah, Early Merry Christmas, Early Festive Winter Solstice, Early Joyous Kwanzaa, Belated Gleeful Diwali and Early Celebratory International Squid Day! May whatever winter holiday you observe be filled with happiness!!