Besides the obvious celebration of Channukah,
How's Judaism is different now because of those events:

  • Did the Makkabim and the Chanukkah event leave any trace in the Jewish Halachic tradition?

  • Were the Makkabim of a special school or approach within Judaism and changed Judaism in favor of their views?

  • Did they change or institute anything about the way the Jews studied Torah and kept Mitzvos?

  • Did they rule some wide-scale Takkonos?

  • What can we say today, like "Thank Makkabim we now ...?" Or the opposite: "if not the Makkabim we would..."?

  • The perushim (Pharisees) came into existence
    – sam
    Dec 3, 2018 at 14:39
  • @sam Reading en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharisees I couldn't understand the link, it seems to be all political.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 3, 2018 at 15:01
  • Thank them? Okay, their first couple of generations got the Greeks out of Judea, except for mercenaries,,the Temple put back in working order, and Chanukah was instituted. But - If it weren't for their family disputes over the kingly/high priestly succession, the Romans would have never been invited to "settle the dispute", which led to the Temple being defiled and Judea becoming a tributary part of the Roman empire, allowing such nice folks as Herod's family to run the country, and eventually the Revolts and Temple and Jerusalem destroyed. So thanks a whole lot, Makkabim!
    – Gary
    Dec 3, 2018 at 21:32
  • Does re-instating ערי מקלט count?
    – Harel13
    Nov 14, 2021 at 20:03

2 Answers 2


The most obvious addition to Jewish tradition is the celebration of the holiday of Chanukah, which is obviously part of Jewish law and tradition to this day.

There are also a few minor holidays mentioned in Megilat Ta'anit that came into existence in Hasmonean times (see for example 17 Sivan, which was instituted as a holiday for a victory over Migdal Tsor). These holidays are no longer observed, but they left a trace in the Talmud which argues over whether it is still in effect.

The Hasmonean ruler Yochanan the high priest, who is portrayed ambiguously in Jewish tradition, is credited (Sota 9:10) with having instituted a few takanot: He annulled the recitation of viduy ma'aser, "waking up" (reciting a verse calling for God to wake up), knocking on a sacrificial animal, hammering in Jerusalem during the middle days of the holiday, and in his time a person wasn't obligated to ask about demay before eating it.

Like Yochanan the high priest at the end of his life, Yannay (another Hasmonean king) is portrayed as having favored the Sadducees after a certain incident (Kiddushin 66a). This probably counts as changing or instituting something about keeping the Torah and commandments, but not one that this story views positively.

The court of the Hasmoneans also forbade intercourse with non-Jews (Avoda Zara 36b).

  • In other words, they didn't leave a trace? THey weren't a religious movement, only a political?
    – Al Berko
    Dec 3, 2018 at 17:37
  • 2
    @AlBerko How does my answer say they didn't leave a trace?
    – b a
    Dec 3, 2018 at 17:37
  • Oh, please I +1ed it. I'm just saying from what you didn't mention I deduce my conclusions. E.g. you said Yochanan and Yannay - they were single persons, so the Makkabim as a "movement" did nothing, Makkabim did not leave a trace, even if single Chashmonaym did.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 3, 2018 at 17:41
  • 1
    @AlBerko What you said reminded me of one other decree attributed to the Hasmoneans as a whole, which I added to the answer. But I don't understand your problem with the fact that single people did something
    – b a
    Dec 3, 2018 at 17:48
  • Don't get me wrong, I'm just a new guy here, a Baal Teshuvah trying to understand the magnitude of the event and the religious consequences. Meanwhile it looks as another Jewish [political] resistance revolt having a lot to do with Jews, but little to do with Judaism.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 3, 2018 at 18:13

According to I Maccabees 2:44 the Maccabees were responsible for ruling that it is permitted to wage (defensive) war on shabbat:

At that time therefore they decreed, saying, Whosoever shall come to make battle with us on the sabbath day, we will fight against him; neither will we die all, as our brethren that were murdered in the secret places.

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