One hundred and sixtyseven years before the birth of Christ, a Syrian King named Antiochus captured the land of Israel. He ordered the Jews to give up their religion and worship his idols. All who refused to obey his command were put to death. What followed was the first fight for religious freedom. The Jews fought back. Even though they were greatly outnumbered by the Syrian forces, the Jewish Maccabean army defeated the enemy and recaptured Jerusalem.
Immediately they marched to the Holy temple, smashed the idols the Syrians had put there. When they cleaned and repaired the temple, everyone gathered to celebrate the rededication. However, only one flask of Holy Oil was found to light the new Menorah.This was just enough oil to burn for one day. But, a great miracle happened; to everyone’s amazement, this little flask of oil burned for eight days and nights.
Because of this miracle, we celebrate Chanukah for eight days.