The Maccabees were a tribe of Jews from the 2nd century BC. Around 160BC to 60BC (I say around but I am close.) Judea had been taken over by Alexander the Great and the Jewish faith was going through a process called Hellenization. They were doing away with many of the standard traditions of the Jewish faith and living more Greek inspired lives. The Maccabees (Hebrew word for hammer) recaptured Judea and "cleansed" the temple reinstating the more traditional Jewish values. The Maccabees were not nice fighters. They were tough and fought more similar to geurilla warfare- hence- hammer. Funny, most McAbee's I know today are smart and tough too! The rededication of the Temple is now celebrated during Hannukah. And the after the battles to reinstate the Temple there was one jug of oil to be found. They lit one candle in the Temple and miraculously, it burned for 8 days. (Hence the festival of lights and the Minorah) So, yes, the Maccabees have a very strong importance in the Jewish faith. I am not Jewish, my maiden name is McAbee. But, I have read on this topic a lot. My interest now is the history from that period to the current spelling and Scottish heritage of which I have been told exists but cannot find. How did we get from Judea to Scotland and who changed faith and spelling?
Martha "Marti" Anne McAbee Alden