Over 2,000 years ago the Jews were subjugated by a tyrant. Antiochus the IVth, ruler of the Seleucid empire, looted the Temple and installed a statue of Zeus there. For a time, many Jews went along with these changes. Judaism was outlawed and people were instructed to pray to Zeus. Antiochus banned circumcision and ordered for the slaughter of pigs to be done in the Temple. Eventually, people rebelled and to the surprise of many, they were successful in ousting the Seleucid Greeks. The Temple was cleaned up and, according to the stories, only one non-defiled jar of oil was recovered. That oil was used for lighting the Shabbat lamp and rather than burning one night, it burned for 8 days and nights. This is the miracle of lights, and we've been partying in memory of that event ever since. It was proof that God didn't forsake us.
The moral of the story is, God helps those who help themselves.
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