Why was the 25th Kislev chosen?
If it wasn't the news of Antiochus's death or the anniversary of
the profanation what was the reason? Possibilities are:
The 25th was Antiochus's birthday, (II Maccabees
It was the date of the forced monthly offering that had to
be made on the desecrated altar.
Does the date of Christmas give any clue?
Many authorities say that the annual celebration
of Christmas in December began at Rome in the 4th century CE to draw Christians
away from the pagan solstice feast of Natalis Solis lnvicti, (the Mithraic festival
of the birth of the sun).
But, in or shortly before 386 CE,
St. John Chrysostom described the first official celebration at Antioch,
so the date may have come from a Syrian festival.
Like the Jews, the Syrians followed a lunar
calendar, so the same Syrian festival may have resulted in the 25th of December being the
date for Christmas and the 25th of each month for the offering that the Jews were forced
to make to Antiochus.
Goldstein had another idea
- Unsurprisingly, not everyone agreed with him
These theories all overlook 2
1. The biblical precedents for
lighting sacrificial fires.
2. The 'signs' that appeared in the