猶太人的修殿節(Hanukkah),你知道由來嗎?

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並不是所有人都慶祝聖誕節,以猶太人為例,聖誕節並不是他們的慶祝節日,而與聖誕節較接近的日子為修殿節(Hanukkah),從猶太曆法(Hebrew calendar)第九個月基斯流月(Kislev)二十五日開始,為期八天。對照我們習慣用的西曆,時間大概在十一月底到十二月底之間。大多數人對聖誕節的故事已經非常熟悉,今年不如來認識下修殿節吧!

The origins of Hanukkah can be traced all the way back to the 2nd century B.C. At that time, Jerusalem, which was originally ruled by Egypt, passed into the hands of Antiochus III—the Greek ruler of Syria—when he defeated the Egyptians in battle. Hoping to establish good relations with his new Jewish subjects, the king allowed them to practice their religion in peace. But things changed when his son Antiochus IV took the throne. He not only outlawed the Jewish religion, but also forced the Jews to worship Greek gods, even erecting a statue of Zeus in their holy Temple.

修殿節的起源可一路追溯到西元前二世紀。在當時,原本由埃及統治的耶路撒冷,在安條克三世擊敗埃及人之後,落入這位敘利亞的希臘統治者之手。安條克三世希望與新猶太臣民建立良好關係,因此讓他們不受干擾地信奉自己的宗教。但是他的兒子安條克四世繼位後便有了變化。安條克四世不僅宣布猶太教為非法,更強迫猶太人崇拜希臘神明,甚至在他們的聖殿立了一尊宙斯像。

Not long afterward, a group of Jews called the Maccabees rose up against the king and recaptured Jerusalem. To rededicate the Temple, they built a new altar and lit the Eternal Lamp, which was supposed to be kept burning at all times. Although there was only one day’s worth of oil remaining, the lamp burned for eight days—just enough time to prepare a new supply of oil.

不久之後,一群名為「馬加比」的猶太人起義推翻安條克四世,收復耶路撒冷。為重獻聖殿,他們建了新的祭壇,並點亮理應不能熄滅的長明燈。當時雖然油只剩一天的量,燈卻燃燒了八天——剛好足夠他們準備新的油料。

To celebrate this miracle, the Jewish priests established the festival of Hanukkah (“dedication” in Hebrew), a tradition that has continued to this day. On each night of Hanukkah, prayers are sung and one more candle on a menorah is lit, until eight candles are lit on the final night.

為了讚頌這個奇蹟,猶太教祭司制定了修殿節(Hanukkah的希伯來文原意為「獻堂典禮」),這個傳統延續到今天。在修殿節的每一晚,信徒會吟唱祈禱文,並在燭台多點一根蠟燭,直到最後一晚八燭齊亮。

單字字彙
defeat (v.) 戰勝,擊敗
erect (v.) 豎立,建設
dedicate (v.) 奉獻,使聖化,rededicate 即「再奉獻」
eternal (adj.) 永恆的,永久的,無休止的

 

取材自Norman Lewis教授著作Word Power Made Easy中文版《英文字彙解密:語言、事件與個人特質 字源及衍生字完全記憶法》(EZ叢書館)

圖片來源:IrinaUzv

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