Town in the northwestern lowlands of Judea just north of the ancient road from Jerusalem to Joppa, made famous as the site of the beginning of the Maccabean revolt [165 BCE]. Judah Maccabee's father Mattathias moved his family there during Antiochus IV's Hellenization of Jerusalem, and he and his sons were all buried there. Simon, the last surviving brother of Judah Maccabee built an impressive family monument on the summit of the hill consisting of seven pyramids linked by colonnades which became a site of Jewish pilgrimage for more than seven centuries. Modein was also the hometown of the conservative tanna Eleazar ha Modi'i [2nd c. CE], who was influential in defining rabbinic Judaism. The name Modein comes from the Hebrew modi'in, meaning "declarers."
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