Friday, December 4, 2015

Chanukah (Hanukkah), the Festival of Lights, begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, and lasts for eight days. On the secular calendar, Chanukah generally falls out in December

Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew and celebrates two miracles: In ancient Judea, the Maccabees, or leaders of a rebel Jewish army, liberated a temple in Jerusalem from Greek invaders after waging a three-year war and their victory is considered to be the first miracle. The second miracle occurred in the temple itself, where the Maccabees found a small amount of olive oil to fuel the menorah, a nine-branched candelabrum. There was only enough oil to light the menorah for one day, and it would take eight days to produce new oil. The Maccabees lit the menorah, however, and found that the oil burned for eight days.
What Is The Significance Of The Menorah Today? 
The candelabrum holds oil or candles, and Jews light one branch of the menorah on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. The ninth flame, which is the flame in the middle,  is called the Shamash and is used to light the other flames.
How Else Do Jews Celebrate The Holiday Around The World?
There are several traditions associated with the festival, including the giving of "gelt" or monetary gifts to children. Children also play with dreidels during the holiday. Foods associated with Hanukkah include several items fried in oil, like donuts and latkes.

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