Chanukah is still a time to Celebrate What are we celebrating? Like many of our Jewish Holidays, Purim and Pesach included, we celebrate surviving yet another attempt to wipe out the Jewish People. In the mid-second century BCE, the Seleucid Empire controlled Judea and promoted Hellenistic (Greek) culture and religion. The Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV escalated tensions by sacking Jerusalem, building a fortress (called the Akra), sacrificing a pig in the Jerusalem Temple, and issuing an edict to abolish Jewish law and worship. In opposition the Maccabees started a revolt and fought against the Seleucid rulers and those who supported them. The Maccabees were victorious!! The eight-day holiday celebrates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after it was retaken by the Maccabees. Today yet again the Jewish people are at war with another enemy, an enemy who wishes to annihilate the Jewish people and Western civilisation as we know it. We pray that the Jewish people will yet again be victorious and that we can continue living our lives without the constant fear of an enemy. On Chanukah we light candles to continue to light up the world with goodness and reduce the darkness in the world. Please come celebrate the ongoing strength of the Jewish community with us at our Chanukah Morning Tea . But seating is limited so booking is essential. In Australia we celebrate the festive season. May our hearts be lightened so we can all truly celebrate and enjoy the Festive Season together with all Australians!!