What makes Israel so unique is the chance we get to walk along the path of our ancestors. Around each corner is another place mentioned in the Bible, in our history books, and nestled into the Jewish psyche.
The story of Hanukkah happened in our very own backyard, sitting right in the city of Modiin, in the center of Israel!
The Hanukkah story goes like this...
While the Greeks held power in Israel, a brave group of Jews living in Modiin decided to band together in revolt against the harsh and oppressive rule of the Greeks on Jewish life. The leader of this group was Matityahu, with his son Judah- they ran to the hills in hiding and became known as the Maccabees.
The surrounding area of Modiin is filled with artifacts of that time, allowing us to recreate their story, following in their footsteps towards freedom!
Right inside the city are the gravesites of some of the Maccabees that Israeli archeologists have found! And just outside of the city is the remains of a synagogue from the Hasmonean period. We have been even able to identify the battlegrounds where some of the actual combat was fought.
Take the time to drive out and visit these sites, and connect to the miracles of the Jewish people! Every year, Modiin takes pride in its heritage and has celebratory Hanukkah lighting for the public.
Some even venture out to the ancient synagogue on the Shabbat of Hanukkah, and pray together, remembering the vision of Maccabees with our own voices of prayer.