WORSHIP WITH US

We welcome you to worship and learn with us at Bet Shalom Messianic Congregation.

We gather together weekly for Hebraic worship, Biblical teaching from the Hebrew perspective, Messianic Dance and caring fellowship.

We look forward to seeing you!
Rabbi Amnon & Rebbetzin Lynette Shor

SATURDAY SHABBAT SERVICES

Messianic Lifestyle Class - 2 PM
In the Oneg Hall
Shabbat Service - 4 PM
In the Sanctuary
Oneg after Shabbat Service
In the Oneg Hall

WE MEET AT

MT OLIVE CHURCH
101 W Clinton Avenue
Fresno CA 93705

between Palm and Fruit Avenues
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CONTACT US

MAIL:
Bet Shalom Messianic Congregation
5132 N Palm Avenue PMB 101
Fresno, CA 93704

PHONE:
559-288-0330
EMAIL:
betshalom@betshalomfresno.org

WHO WERE THE MACCABEES?

The death of Alexander the Great of Greece in 323 BC led to the breakup of the Greek empire as three of his generals fought for supremacy and divided the Middle East among themselves. Ptolemy secured control of Egypt and the Land of Israel. Seleucus grabbed Syria and Asia Minor, and Antigonus took Greece.

Israel was sandwiched between the two rivals and for the next 125 years Seleucids and Ptolemies battled for the prize. The former finally won in 198 BC when Antiochus III defeated the Egyptians and incorporated Judea into his empire. Initially, he continued to allow the Jews autonomy, but after a stinging defeat at the hands of the Romans he began a program of Hellenization that threatened to force the Jews to abandon their monotheism for the Greeks’ paganism. Antiochus backed down in the face of Jewish opposition to his effort to introduce idols in their temples, but his son, Antiochus IV, who inherited the throne in 176 BC resumed his father’s original policy without excepting the Jews. A brief Jewish rebellion only hardened his views and led him to outlaw central tenets of Judaism such as the Sabbath and circumcision, and defile the holy Temple by erecting an altar to the god Zeus, allowing the sacrifice of pigs, and opening the Temple to non-Jews.

THE JEWISH HAMMER

Though many Jews had been seduced by the virtues of Hellenism, the extreme measures adopted by Antiochus helped unite the people. When a Greek official tried to force a priest named Mattathias to make a sacrifice to a pagan god, the Jew murdered the man. Predictably, Antiochus began reprisals, but in 167 BC the Jews rose up behind Mattathias and his five sons and fought for their liberation.

The family of Mattathias became known as the Maccabees, from the Hebrew word for “hammer,” because they were said to strike hammer blows against their enemies. Jews refer to the Maccabees, but the family is more commonly known as the Hasmoneans.

Like other rulers before him, Antiochus underestimated the will and strength of his Jewish adversaries and sent a small force to put down the rebellion. When that was annihilated, he led a more powerful army into battle only to be defeated. In 164 BC, Jerusalem was recaptured by the Maccabees and the Temple purified, an event that gave birth to the holiday of Hanukkah.