The early victories of the Maccabees over the Seleucid armies have been etched into Jewish memory in the form of the festival of Hanukkah. In this podcast episode, David examines the first four of these Maccabean victories with a focus on the insight, bravery, and military ingenuity of Judea’s guerrilla fighters. Continuing with his exploration of the role played by the geography and topography of the land of Israel in these battles, David offers a rare insight into why, how, and what was involved in these historic events. He also shares his view on the place these victories should take in our historical celebration of the miracle of Hanukkah.
For listeners to the podcast who can not see the maps David draws in this lecture, we have provided a series of graphics in pdf that capture the information provided on the whiteboard. To gain the most from this lecture, we recommend referring to these maps as you listen.
Find a large-size pdf of the maps here.
This Jewish history lecture includes discussions on:
- the military tactics and might of the Seleucid armies
- the context, details, and outcomes of the battles of Maaleh Levonah, Beit Horon, Emmaus, and Beit Tzur
- the significance of the geography and topography of the land of Israel in determining the shape and results of these battles
- the role of military intelligence and the rise of Jewish guerrilla warfare
- the historical status of these events and their connection with the festive of Hanukkah
Find more of David Solomon’s podcast, with dozens of lectures on Jewish history, the Bible, Jewish philosophy, and Kabbalah here.
This four-part series was recorded at Caulfield Shule in 2019.