Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that is being celebrated every year in-between late November and early December! Let’s talk about Hanukkah!
1.Hanukkah or Chanukah is an eight-day Jewish celebration which commemorates the re-dedication during the second century BC. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the Holy Temple, at the time of Maccabeen revolt against the Seleucid Empire.
2. The Maccabees where a group of Jewish Rebel warriors, that took control of Judea.
3. Judea, had been at the time a province of the Seleucid Empire.
4. The Maccabees reasserted the Jewish religion.
5. The all mighty Greek armies where executing the commands of the Greek-Syrian emperor, Antiochus. Antiochus was trying to force his Hellenistic ideology and rituals upon the Jewish people.
6. Hanukkah starts at the 25th day of Kislev, that is when a small band of outnumbered Jews reclaimed the Holy Temple from the Greek armies.
7. The Greeks had contaminated all the oil in the temple, and it would take 8 days to recreate pure oil in order to light the menorah. All that was left, was a cruse of oil that would last only a night. Miraculously the oil lasted eight days and nights and that is when the celebration of Hanukkah was established!
8. The menorah was a seven-lamp candelabrum used in the ancient Tabernacle in the desert, the Temple in Jerusalem. Nowadays the menorah is a a nine-lamp candelabrum, which is used during Hanukkah!
9. Hanukkah is also known as the “Festival of Lights” and the “Feast of Dedication”.
10. According to the Hebrew Calendar, Kislev may occur somewhere in-between late November to late December in the Gregorian Calendar!
11. Hanukkah lasts eight nights and eight days.
12. On 2017 Hanukkah starts on 12 December and ends on December 20th.
13. Another candle that is used to light up the other eight candles stands in the middle of them and sits a little higher or lower than them, it is called “shamash”. It is there to assist in case any of the eight blows out. And usually Jews prefer shamash (which means: helper) made of beeswax!
14. The lighting of menorah can be done in each household. It can be lighted from men, or women. Sometimes the head of the family lights up the menorah, while the rest of the family is listening to the blessings answering “Amen”. In some other households each member lights his own menorah. In any case it is important for everyone to be present when the miracle of Hanukkah is celebrated!
15. Remember!!! If it happens to spend a night in a Jewish household during Hanukkah you can either give a dollar to your host for the menorah expenses or light up your own menorah!
16. If your not spending the night at home but somewhere else, light up a menorah at wherever you are staying!
17. You can place your menorah in your hallway (on a table or chair preferable 12 to 40 inches off the ground) or on a windowsill facing the street (less than 30 feet high).
18. On Friday the menorah should be lit before sunset and on Saturday should be lit after nightfall!
19. Hanukkah means “Dedication” and “They rest 25” since Kislev 25 was the day that Maccabees finally relaxed after routing the Greeks!
20. The Chanukah/Hanukkah candles must burn at least half our after nightfall!
21. The best type of oil to use for menorah is olive oil!
22. Happy Hanukkah!!!