The Festival of Lights
Hannukah Dates(from sundvery own of the following dates)
Hanukkah, the "Festival of Lights," starts on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev and lasts for eight days and also nights. In 2016, Hanukkah begins at sundvery own on December 24. With blessings, games, and also festive foodstuffs, Hanukkah celebprices the triumphs--both spiritual and also military--of primitive Jewish heroes.
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Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish year. In the United States, however, its closeness to Christmas has carried higher attention to Hanukkah and its gift-offering heritage. Amid the ever-flourishing flood of Christmas declaring, it may seem especially fitting that the Hanukkah story tells of Jewish society surviving in a non-Jewish human being.
The Hanukkah Story
Nbeforehand 2,200 years earlier, the Greek-Syrian leader Antiochus IV tried to pressure Greek culture upon individuals in his region. Jews in Judea - now Israel- were forbidden their most important spiritual practices and also examine of the Torah. Although vastly outnumbered, religious Jews in the area took up arms to protect their community and their religious beliefs. Led by Mattathias the Hasmonean, and later on his kid Judah the Maccabee, the rebel armies ended up being well-known as the Maccabees.
After 3 years of fighting, in the year 3597, or around 165 B.C.E., the Maccabees victoriously reclaimed the holy place on Jerusalem"s Mount Moriah. Next they all set the holy place for rededication -- in Hebrew, Hanukkah implies "dedication." In the temple they uncovered only enough purified oil to kindle the holy place light for a solitary day. But miraculously, the light continued to burn for eight days.
The lighting of the menorah, recognized in Hebrew as the hanukiya, is the a lot of important Hanukkah tradition. A menorah is a candlestand with nine branches. Usually eight candles - one for each day of Hanukka - are of the same height, via a taller one in the middle, the shamash ("servant"), which is offered to light the others. Each evening of Hanukkah, an additional candle is lit, with a distinct blessing.
The menorah symbolizes the burning light in the temple, as well as noting the eight days of the Hanukkah festival. Some say it also celebprices the light of liberty won by the Maccabees for the Jewish people.
Long a favorite Hanukkah toy, the dreidel when had a serious purpose. When the Syrians forbid study of the Torah, Jews who studied in secret maintained spinning tops "sivivons, or dreidels"on hand also. This method, if they were found researching, they could easily pretend that they had only been playing.
Outside of Israel, a dreidel has actually the Hebrew letters "nun," "gimel," "hay," and also "shin" on its four sides. These letters stand for "Nes gadol haya sham," which means, "A good miracle taken place tbelow," referring to Israel. An Israeli dreidel has the letter "pay" quite than "shin." This represents "poh," meaning "here"a good miracle taken place right here."
The Hebrew letters additionally reexisting Yiddish words that tell exactly how to play the dreidel game. Each player starts through the very same amount of candies, cacao coins (gelt), or various other tokens, and puts one in a pot. Players take turns spinning the dreidel, waiting to view which letter lands confront up. Nun is for "nisht," carry out nothing. Gimel is for "gants," take the totality pot. Hay is for "halb," take fifty percent. Shin is for "shtel," include to the pot. The game ends as soon as a solitary player wins all the tokens.
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Many typical Hanukkah foods items are cooked in oil, in remembrance of the oil that melted in the holy place. In the USA, the a lot of widespread Hanukkah food is latkes, or potato pancakes, a practice that may have developed in Eastern Europe. In Israel, the favorite Hanukkah food is sufganiya, a type of jelly donut cooked in oil. Israelis eat sufganiyot for more than a month prior to the start of Hanukkah.
Eating dairy assets, particularly cheese, is one more Hanukkah legacy. This is done in memory of the Jewish heroine Judith, who according to legend saved her village from Syrian attackers. Judith fed wine and also cheese to the Syrian general Holofernes till he became so drunk that he fell to the ground. She then seized his sword and also cut off his head, which she lugged earlier to her village in a basket. The following morning, Syrian troops found the headmuch less body of their leader and fled in terror. ?By Holly Hartman