Here Comes Hanukkah

8 Crazy Nights

Yuri Cain, Editor In Chief

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Chanukkah, also known as Hanukkah, is the Jewish festival of rededication that is celebrated for eights days beginning every year on the 25th of the Jewish month, Kislev. Hanukkah is one of the best known holiday’s in the Jewish religion. For non-Jewish people, however, it is mostly known because of how close it is to Christmas. In general, people find Hanukkah to be the Jewish Christmas rather than seeing it for its actual significance.

Hanukkah is the celebration of the Syrian-Greeks, also known as the Seleucids, ruling the Holy Land, and forcing the people of Israel to worship idols (Hellenize). A small group of faithful Jews came together and defeated the Seleucids army while also driving them off the land and taking it back. They took back the Holy Temple and rededicated it to God and his services. When they tried to light the menorah in the temple, they found only a single cruse of oil, which was not enough to light the menorah for all eight days. However, once lit, the olive oil supported lighting the menorah for the full time, until they were able to get more. To celebrate the rededication of the temple and the olive oil, the people came up with Chanukkah.

Most Hanukkah customs are to light the menorah’s pilot (the candle that will light the others), feast on fried foods, pray, and giving gifts for celebration. Hanukkah is meant to be a thoughtful time of rejoicing and love, but also to thank God for all that he has done. Hanukkah is not one of the most important holidays though, it is not even in the Jewish Scripture. Lots of people say that Hanukkah is the Jewish Christmas to make up for what they do not celebrate.

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