The Festival of Lights
Celebrated for eight days and nights
Starts on the 25 of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar (November or December on the Gregorian calendar)
Hanukkah means dedication
The holiday commemorates the rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Jews’ 165 B.C.E. victory over the Hellenist Syrians.
On each night of Hanukkah, the menorah is lit to commemorate a miracle which occurred after the Jews proclaimed victory over the Syrian armies in 165 B.C.E.
When Jews came to rededicate the Temple-which had been defiled by the Syrians they found only one small flask of oil with which to light the menorah. Although the flask contained only enough oil for one day the lamp burned for eight days.
Chanuka Chanukah Chanukkah Channukah
Hanukah Hannukah Hanukkah Hanuka
Hanukka Hanaka Haneka Hanika Khanukkah
Most Hanukkah dishes use oil
Oil reminds us of the oil which burned eight days instead of one.
Latkes are potato pancakes made from grated potatoes mixed with eggs, onions, and flour, then fried in vegetable oil. They are served hot and often dipped in apple sauce or sour cream
The dreidel (spinner) is a four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter inscribed on each side. Before spinning each player places a fixed amount of the coin or candy in the kitty
During the rule of Antiochus before the Maccabee’s revolt, soldiers executed any Jews caught practicing their religion
When Pious Jews gathered to study the Torah, they had the top ready in case they heard soldiers approaching. They would hide the holy scriptures and pretend to play with the dreidel