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Hanukkah Stamps

Israel released two stamps December 23rd celebrating Hanukkah. The minor (except to children) holiday recalls the rededication of the Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration a few years earlier by the Syrian Greek king Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

The series began in 1993 and ends next year during the 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of Israel. Each of the stamps in the series contains a similar design of a menorah, the nine-branch candelabra.

Dreidel Stamp The 1.80-shekel stamp depicts a turn-of-the-century Hanukkah Dreidel created at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem. The Hebrew letters on most dreidels (tops) stand for "A Great Miracle Occurred Here," but the ones on the dreidel shown in this stamp symbolizes "A Great Miracle Occurred THERE," which indicates the dreidel, while made in Israel, was intended for sale in other countries (click the image for a detailed view).

Hanukka Coin The 2.10-shekel stamp shows a coin from the Bar-Kochba rebellion against the Roman Legionnaires in the Holy Land in 132-135 A.D. That was the last time the region was under Jewish control until the establishment of modern-day Israel 1800 years later in 1948. According to a press release, "these coins were actually Roman provincial silver tetradrachmas, denaris and drachmas that were overstruck to erase the emblems of the nemy and to demonstrate the sovereignty of the Jewish rebels. The coin depicts a jug, perhaps used for service in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem." (click the image for a detailed view)

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