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Jason of Cyrene

Jason of Cyrene (Greek: Ἰάσων ὁ Κυρηναῖος; fl. 100 BCE) was a Hellenistic Jew who wrote a mytho-historical account of the history of the Maccabees down to the victory over Niqanor (175-161 BCE). Originally five books in length, it formed the basis of the work known today as 2 Maccabees.


💬 מגילת ניקנור | Megillat Niqanor (Ⅱ Maccabees, chapters 13-15), a reading for the Day of the Elephantarch

Contributed on: 22 Mar 2016 by Aharon N. Varady (editing/transcription) | Unknown Author(s) | Jason of Cyrene |

It is challenging to think of how to mark Nicanor Day, as it remains at a disadvantage, not only on years when it conflicts with Ta’anit Esther but on all years since it has no mitzvot. This is probably the main reason that, unlike Chanukah and Purim, it was lost to Jewish practice for more than a thousand years. Nevertheless, we do have its megillah, which has been translated into Hebrew and English. Perhaps, if we start reading chapters 13-15 of 2 Maccabees, even just to ourselves, on the 13 of Adar, we can begin to resurrect a holiday that was celebrated and instituted by Judah Maccabee and his followers over two millennia ago, and which they envisioned would continue throughout Jewish History. With the return of Jews to Israel and Jewish sovereignty to Jerusalem, I believe it is about time. . . .

Selections from 1 & 2 Maccabees and Pesiqta Rabbati on the Desecration and Rededication of the Temple and the Rekindling of the Sacred Fire

Contributed on: 05 Dec 2020 by Aharon N. Varady (editing/transcription) | Jason of Cyrene | Septuagint (translation/Greek) | Unknown Author(s) |

Selections from 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, and Pesiqta Rabbati which inform the story of Ḥanukkah: the desecration and re-dedication of the Temple (especially as it relates to Sukkot and the Brumalia), divine intervention in the Maccabean battles, and the Rekindling of the Sacred Fire. . . .