Celebrating Chanukah

If you are not Jewish, you might have questioned the special occasion of Chanukah and never actually taken the time to look it up or had anybody who could explain its signifigance to you. 

The very first curiosity many individuals notice has to do with the word "Chanukah" versus the spelling "Hanukkah." There are two spellings since the letters in the Hebrew alphabet are different than those of the English alphabet. Basically, both spellings can be used reciprocally and either spelling is acceptable.

Chanukah is the Hebrew term for rededication and the celebration of Chanukah is called the celebration of lights. Chanukah starts on the 25th day of the month making use of the Jewish calendar. This indicates that it falls someplace through November or December each year.

The event lasts for eight days through which time Jewish people commemorate, light candle lights, and exchange little presents with each other.

 

Chanukah began over 2,300 years ago in exactly the place now known as Israel. Ruled by the cruel Greeks, the Hebrew people, likewise called Jewish people, were forced to cease worshipping their God and praise just the Greek Gods as other people of the time did. The Jewish temples were damaged and any Jewish people who decided to worship in their own way were badly penalized for it.

A few of the Jews decided to follow the masses, while others declined. Among those who chose not to praise the Greek Gods was a person by the name of Judah Maccabee. Judah and his four siblings started a militia of dissidents and asked as many other Jews to join them as possible.

This militia battled it's opponent, the Greeks, for about three years up until one day they were triumphant and recovered their Temple in the city of Jerusalem.

The very first concern of the Jewish people was to clean and rededicate the temple to the service of the Jewish God. They cleaned the temple, got rid of any Greek signs and idols from it, and prepared to rededicate it to their own beliefs.

Blessed oil was needed to rededicate the Temple yet none might be discovered by Judah. They searched high and low and finally discovered a small quantity of oil in a Temple chamber.

They understood that there was just sufficient oil for one night, however, when they lit it a wonder took place, the small amount of oil burned for eight nights! This is why the Jewish people light a Menorah each of the eight nights of Chanukah, to represent the eight nights the oil burned had lasted so long ago.

 

A Menorah is an unique candle light holder which holds a total of nine candle lights. Eight of the candle lights are for use each night of Chanukah, and the other candle light is called the "servant" and made use of to light the other candle lights.

The candle lights are lit each night and on the last night each of the eight candle lights all burn together. This is to symbolize the eight nights the oil burned in the Temple. 

In addition to the night time lighting of the Menorah, Jewish kids play a video game called Dreidel. A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top which has Hebrew letters on each side standing for "A Great Miracle Happened There." Kids play the dreidel video game by spinning the leading and betting sweet coins.

The foods of Chanukah have the tendency to be really oily. The factor for this is that their holy oil burned for eight days in the Temple. One preferred Chanukah food is latkes. Latkes are potato pancakes which are made from graded potatoes which have actually been combined with eggs, onions, and flour and after that fried in oil.

Hope this short article has helped you a little to better understand the Jewish special occasion of Chanukah.