I was walking down a street in Jerusalem when I came to a sign: Queen Shalom-Zion Street. A Jewish queen who was not named Esther — and I had never heard of her! That’s how I met the unsung heroine of Chanukah.
The University of Pennsylvania library system has received a private donation of more than 11,000 items o f Judaica documenting the social and economic development of early Jewish life in the Western Hemisphere.
The long version of the Chanukah story is not quite as heartwarming or morally clear-cut as what you might remember from Hebrew school. Ancient historical records, especially the little known Book of Maccabees, tell of a bitter and bloody internal conflict that pitted Jew against Jew in a fight for political and religious domination.