Jewish historians have hotly debated the achievements and the disorders of the Hasmonean state, and its reputation in the religious world is even more sour as, in contravention of Jewish law, later rules of the Maccabean
line, they usurped the priesthood as well as the monarchy, abrogating the legitimate Aharonic and Davidic lineages, respectively.
Recalling that the mother of the seven Maccabean
sons martyred by the Seleucid emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanes told her children that it "was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you" (2 Maccabees 7:22), Augustine observed that he had no more understanding of the soul than she: "Wherefore, I too, on my side, say concerning my soul, I have no certain knowledge how it came into my body; for it was not I who gave it to myself." If a human person cannot convey a soul into himself or herself, neither can a human person convey a soul into some other construct, including into an artificial intelligence.
Her third example is the Maccabean
mother with her seven sons (2 Maccabees 7:8-18) who die one after the other as they comply, with her encouragement, with their community's customs.
If, after achieving their 'victory,' the Nazis proceeded to liquidate the ghetto, it must have caused ironical laughter somewhere--but it was not the Nazis who laughed." (5) Soon thereafter, the prominent syndicated columnist Dorothy Thompson wrote an article histrionically titled "Homage to the Christian Poles and the Maccabean
Jews of Warsaw!" for the Washington Evening Star.
(See, for example, the apologetic strategy of 4 Mace, that hinges on the superiority of Jewish masculinity, in particular as it is embodied by, seemingly, unmanly [in the sense of unvirile] persons, such as old Elizer, the mother of the Maccabean
brothers, and the youngest brother in particular.) (30) But Paul has now given this up in order to be a person of foreign, colonial descent without a clear place in the Greco-Roman world (leaving aside the question of Paul's citizenship here, to which he does not appeal here at all).
Hanukkah is a holiday that signifies "praise and thanksgiving" and is meant to commemorate overthrow of the Syrian Greeks and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabean
Jews' successful uprising against the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century B.C.
For the Jewish people, the Festival of Lights or Channukah / Hannukah is equally ancient, commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean
Revolt (167-160 BCE) against the Greek Seleucid Empire, which desecrated the holy temple in Jerusalem and tried to force the Jews to accept the panoply of Greek gods.
And yet undeniably, The Virtue of Nationalism is a metaphorical hammer, aimed at smiting, with Maccabean
force, the intellectual enemies of nationalism.
One critical event fanned the flames of otherworldly expectation, namely the great Maccabean
revolt of the 160s BCE, when faithful Jews rose in armed rebellion against pagan Greek overlords.
Next we come to the period of the Maccabean
The only other book of the Bible Kirsch highlights is the late (perhaps as late as the Maccabean
period) Book of Esther in a chapter entitled "In the Kingdom of Chance." It's only by chance that Mordecai learns about Haman's plans to wipe out all the Persian Jews.
There, I argued that Judaism (or "Jewishness," as I called it) emerged in the Hasmonean (Maccabean
) period (midist or 2nd century BCE).