The sixth day of Chanukah.
c 140 BCE- the Maccabees defeated the vastly more numerous and powerful armies of the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus IV, who had tried to forcefully uproot the beliefs and practices of Judaism from the people of Israel. The victorious Jews repaired, cleansed and rededicated the Beit HaMikdash in Yerushalayim to the service of Hashem.
All the Beit HaMikdash's oil had been defiled by the pagan invaders; and when the Jews sought to light the Beit HaMikdash's Menorah (candelabra), they found only one small cruse of ritually pure olive oil. They lit the Menorah with the one-day supply, which miraculously, burned for eight days, until new, pure oil could be obtained.
Also on this day -- 1,100 years earlier -- Moshe Rabbeinu and the Jewish people completed construction of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that accompanied them during 40 years of wandering in the desert. The Mishkan was not dedicated, however, for another three months. The Sages tell us that the day of Kislev 25 was then "compensated" 12 centuries later -- when the miracle of Chanukah occurred and the Beit HaMikdash was rededicated.
In commemoration, the Sages instituted the 8-day festival of Chanukah, on which lights are kindled nightly by Jews around the world to recall and publicize the miracle of the oil, and its message that continues to illuminate our lives today.
1348- Jews of Augsburg, Germany were killed.
December 28, 1970- Nine Soviet Jews were convicted in Leningrad of hijacking a civilian airplane six months earlier. The hijackers were a group of Soviet refuseniks (one was a former military pilot) who tried to escape to the West, in order to avoid harsh Soviet discrimination against Jews. Even though the attempt was unsuccessful, and was followed immediately by crackdown on Jewish and dissident movement throughout the USSR, it drew international attention to human rights violations in the USSR and resulted in a temporary loosening of emigration restrictions. The accused were charged with high treason, punishable by the death sentence. Included in this group was Yosef Mendelevitch, who in 1981 was released and joined his family in Israel, where he became an inspiring
figure in the movement for traditional Jewish values.