The Maccabeans: From Rebels to Kings – Lawrence Joffe



Time: 6 pm start
Location: 37a Broadhurst Gdns, NW6 3QT

Meretz UK welcomes you to a Hanukah Party and talk on

The Maccabeans: From Rebels to Kings

by Lawrence Joffe


Most people know of Hanukah as the festival of lights in the darkness, a victory of hope over fear, a time of entertainment, fun, gifts, spinning tops and games – and sometimes excessive consumption of oily food!

Yet Hanukah is also seen as a celebration of national liberation… or, in a more universal sense, as a victory of small peoples over imperialism. So what of the historical origins of the festival. Who were the Maccabee family? What was the political context of their time?

Were they really heroes who ousted a mighty empire? How did they form a dynasty of priests and king? Did they truly rescue Judaism, or rather alter it dramatically? Why did later Hasmonean monarchs come to replicate the Hellenic culture that their ancestors sought to overturn? And finally, why did they fall prey to corruption, infighting and even atrocities against Jews and Gentiles alike?Juda-Maccabaeus

Lawrence Joffe, secretary of Meretz UK, will try to answer these questions in a short PowerPoint presentation, leaving some time for discussion – and then after candle lighting and Maoz Tzur it is on to latkes and merriment.

Lawrence wrote The History of the Jews from the Ancients to the Middle Ages. He also contributes obituaries to The Guardian, reviews for the Jewish Chronicle, and otherwise works as a book and magazine editor.

  • Note early start of 6 pm
  • Contributions of £5; refreshments provided
  • With the support of Hashomer Hatzair Trust