|"Hero in Battle" 1961/5722
Israel's Fourth Hanukka Coin
This is the fourth coin issued by the Bank of Israel to commemorate the Hanukka Festival and the Heroism of Eleazar Horan, the brother of Judah Maccabeus in the battle of Zahariya, 162 BCE.
In Jewish history it tells us that, Hanukkah, which means dedication, is a celebration of victory over oppression. An eight-day festival, it commemorates the historic victory of the Maccabeus family over the Syrian tyrant, King Antiochus. The King who, after conquering Jerusalem, sacrificed a pig on the altar, and put to death any Jew who dared to observe the Laws of the Torah.
Judah Maccabeus, the son of Mattathias, a Hasmonean priest, in the 2nd century B.C., lead a revolt against Antiochus and his Hellenistic oppression. Judah led an outnumbered army to a victory over the Syrians. The Maccabees re-entered Jerusalem and re-dedicated the Temple.
In honor of this victory, the eight day festival of lights. Eleazer, the Hasmonean Hero is celebrated as a symbol of religious freedom and national liberation.
Description of the Coin
An elephant carrying soldiers of King Antiochus. Eleazar below holding a sword. The Proof coin is struck with a small Hebrew 'mem' next to the image of Eleazar Horan.
The image of a burning torch with the Hebrew inscription, "1 Israel Lira." The year of issue "5722-1961", below "Israel" in Hebrew and Arabic. The legend in Hebrew, "And he gave up his soul in battle".