Hanukkah begins today.  You can read all about it in this month’s issue of Jewish Magazine.

JTA has an article on how the Maccabees would be viewed in today’s world.  “My guess is that most liberal Jews today wouldn’t necessarily get along with the Maccabees if they showed up again,” says Rabbi Jill Jacob.

Hanukkah is also the occasion for the Jerusalem Post to discuss in two articles the Heliodorus Stele and three additional fragments discovered earlier this year (previously mentioned here).

Israeli archaeologists have also found evidence recently that the Hasmoneans controlled territory south of the biblical Negev (near modern Sede Boqer).  The IAA has a few high-resolution images here. Apparently Josephus was right, after all.

Aren Maeir has posted a stratigraphic chart from Gath in PowerPoint format.

This article brought tears to my eyes, especially when I read about the pottery that has been found from the “Persians, Umayyad, Crusaders, Mukluks and Ottomans.”  The Mukluks—oh, I love that!  I just wish I had a lecture to give now on the Mukluks.  (The rest of the co-authored article is likewise

HT: Joe Lauer