Sunday, December 11, 2011

Judah Maccabee Slept Here

Shalom Girls & Boys:

Today I'm going to be your flyguide and take you to the city of Modiin.

Once upon a time Judah Maccabee slept here, and so did his father Mattathias and all of his brothers.  They began their revolt against the Greek rulers in this city.  I don't have to tell you the story of Hanukkah. I bet you're learning it right now. But because Hanukkah is also called the Holiday of Lights, I want to show you how beautiful Modiin looks when it's lit up at night.

Modiin is the miracle city in the middle of Israel -- right between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Over 74,000 people live there.  Many new olim (immigrants) from the United States move here. Most are young families. The mayor and his staff work here, in this modern City Hall.

Even though Modiin is a cool, 21st century city, it is still VERY respectful of its past. That's why men, women and children enjoy participating in archaeological digs during vacation time.
They are proud of what professional archaeologists have dug up. Take a look at the synagogue floor archaeologists found dating all the way back to the time of Judah Maccabee.
And signs of Judah Maccabee himself? Sorry, I can't show you exactly where he slept, but how about where he is buried?
Are these the REAL graves of the Maccabees? Some say YES, but many archaeologists say NO...and that's the mystery we're working on now.
Maybe I'll have the answer for you next year. For now, Happy Hanukkah from the city where the story of Hanukkah began, and thank you Modiin city for the pictures on your website. Special thanks to Modiin Councilman Alex Weinreb for his photos of the Maccabee graves, ancient synagogue floor, and this photo of a rainbow over Modiin. (I don't get it. Did Noah land his ark in Modiin???? Gota check that out!)

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