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Jewesses with Attitude

Judith and the Hanukkah Story

You have probably heard of Judah and the Maccabees, but what about Judith?  At one time, the story of Judith—a young widow who slew the Assyrian general and led the Israelites to victory—was considered an important part of the Hanukkah narrative.

The Book of Judith comes from Apocrypha. Though generally regarded today as a work of historical fiction, many modern scholars assert that the Judith story is an allegory for the events recounted in I and II Maccabees—with Judith representing Judah Maccabee and King Nebuchadnezzar symbolizing King Antiochus. 

For Hanukkah on jwa.org, we celebrate the biblical Judith as well as a collection of modern day Jewish heroines named Judith.

Do you know a Judith who should be celebrated this Hanukkah? Tell us about her in the comments.

4 Comments

I'm just learning more and more about Judith. She is the art editor of Nashim Journal and is an accomplished artist and artbook publisher. She's my right hand in my project of which she is a participant: Women of the Book (www.womenofthebook.org). She recently came out with a book of her artwork counting the omer. It's amazing. Check her out: www.judithmargolis.com

Oh, indeed, there is another important Judith - that would be Judith Barnard, my strong creative amazing passionate generous strongwilled energetic dedicated loving astonishing mother!

Hello Again: How about Judith Meredith? She's been a tireless proponent of civil rights and justice in the state of Massachusetts. She heads the Public Policy Institute in Boston. http://www.realclout.org/about...

Judith Helfand is a brilliant documentary filmmaker -- Healthy Baby Girl and Blue Vinyl both deal with personal and environmental issues that are so important. She tells her stories with great style and clarity -- and her sense of humor is terrific. www.judithhelfand.com

How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "Judith and the Hanukkah Story." 29 November 2010. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on March 27, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/judith-and-the-hanukkah-story>.

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