Google Earth is helping Jews in Israel and all over the world understand the miraculous victory of the Jews over Greek invaders 2,000 years ago thanks to the initiative of a rabbi who brings history back to life on the computer.
Jews soon will celebrate the two miracles of Chanukah, the battlefield victory and the ritual burning of the discovery of pure olive oil in the
In addition, the Jews also enjoyed a military victory, which can now be followed via a Google Earth presentation prepared by Rabbi Shlomo Hecht. He related that during a recent visit in
With a press of the button, Rabbi Hecht toggles between a contemporary map and the historic routes and points of conflict that allow viewers to follow maneuvers day and night.
He incorporates the topography as well as modern names of the communities to get across his message, which is embellished by emphasizing Zionist values. “This makes it easier to understand the challenges and difficulties in decision-making by
The small town is slightly north of an important battlefield, where the rabbi’s Google Earth presentation shows how the Maccabees waited in hiding for the overwhelming Greek force to arrive at a narrow passage, now known as Highway 60. After the Greeks were forced to change their course because of the narrow road, the smaller Jewish army attacked.
His lecture and 3-D presentation also illustrate crucial decisions and tactics over which modern historians still argue.
After Chanukah, Rabbi Hecht hopes to use the same modern technology to teach about the battles of Kings Saul and David.