Liberation from Greek Overlordship
In 167 BCE, the Jews in Israel were under the rule of the Greek Seleucid Empire. That year, in response to increasing religious persecution, many of them rose in revolt. After 25 years of bitter conflict, the Greeks were defeated and Jewish sovereignty restored over the land. The Jewish festival of Chanukah commemorates the liberation of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Holy Temple, which the Greeks had turned into a pagan shrine, soon after the war began.