The personalities associated with the Channukah story have been described in different sources passed along through the ages. In this series we will meet them and see the different ways in which they were presented. Antiochus' Decrees on the Eve of the Holocaust Prof. Daniel R. Schwartz Why would a Hellenistic monarch provoke his subjects and force the Jews to participate in pagan worship? Why should a polytheist not tolerate religious diversity? Reflections on the Hasmoneans: Heroic Rebels or Flawed Leaders? Prof. Isaiah Gafni While the early Hasmonean rebels, beginning with Mattathias and Judah Maccabee, are universally revered as heroes, their successors frequently received less flattering reviews. Judith: A Chanukah Heroine? Prof. Deborah Gera The Book of Judith tells of a beautiful, pious Israelite widow who saves her people by seducing and then beheading the enemy commander Holophernes, when he threatens Jerusalem and its Temple.