By Josh P. Marcus
The Festival of Lights
Are you ready to light the first Hanukkah candle tonight? If so, Happy Hanukkah!
For those who do not celebrate Hanukkah and would like to learn a bit more about it, we offer this brief primer:
Hanukkah, which in Hebrew means "dedication", commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E.
Contrary to what some mistakenly believe to be a holiday to coincide with Christmas, Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights, starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which falls in late November-late December on the secular calendar.
In the story of Hanukkah, the Jewish Holy Temple was destroyed by the Syrian people because their king had tried to outlaw the Jewish religion. A group of Jews known as the Maccabees decided to fight back against the king and his army -- and they won. The Jewish people were able to practice their religion freely once again, and took back their Holy Temple.
Inside the Holy Temple was a light that was to stay lit but because the temple had been destroyed, when the Jewish people went to rededicate it, they found there was only enough oil to keep the flame going for one day, and it would take eight days before they could get more. However, it actually lasted for eight days and such was the miracle of Hanukkah!
To commemorate this great miracle, Jewish people celebrate every year by lighting candles for eights days in a menorah and eating yummy special foods like latkes (potato pancakes) which are made with oil!
It has also become a tradition to give presents during Hanukkah, since it is a happy celebration.
Enjoy a this fun and happy video from Adam Sandler.
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