Hanukkah Also called: Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication or Feast of the Maccabees
A Jewish festival celebrated for eight days reaffirms the ideals of Judaism and commemorates in particular the rededication of the SecondTemple in Jerusalem. Commemorating the victory in 165 B.C. of the Maccabees over
Antiochus Epiphanes (215–164 B.C.)
The TempleMount in Jerusalem had been reclaimed.
Only one jar of sacramental oil was found, enough for one day.
Miraculously, the oil burnt for eight days, by which time a fresh supply of oil was obtained.
Thus the eight days of Hanukkah.
The most important Hanukkah ritual is the candle lighting.
The candles are lit in a special candelabrum, called Hanukkah Menorah.
In Israel, it is called the Hanukiyah.
Hanukkah Menorahs comes in all shapes and sizes.
The Menorah wasin use in the religious rituals of Judaism.
That has been an important symbol in both ancient and modern Israel.
The Hanukkah Menorah includes eight candles, and one raised candle called the "Shamash".
During the holiday, on the first night of Hanukkah, one light is lit by the "Shamash", which is used every night to light all the other candles. Each night, a light is added until the eighth night, when all the lights are lit. The addition of light recalls the greatness and growth of the miracle. Blessings are recited each night before the lights are kindled, and traditional songs are sung.
During the holiday, it is traditional to eat foods fried in oil. The oil reminds us of the oil which burnt eight days instead of one. Some traditional foods are potato latkes (Levivot) and doughnuts (Sufganiot).
Latkes are potato pancakes made from grated potatoes mixed with eggs, onions, and flour, then fried in vegetable oil. The texture is crispy on the outside and tender within. They're served hot and often dipped in apple sauce or sour cream.
Sufganiyot are jelly doughnuts without the hole. Dough is dropped into hot oil then covered with powdered sugar.
The children play with dreidls.
The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter inscribed on each side. Outside of Israel the letters stand for "A Great Miracle Happened There". In Israel the letters mean "A Miracle Happened Here".
In Israel the dreidel is called a Sevivon.
The yiddish word "dreidel" is derived from the German word "drehen", or "turn".
The Hanukkah eight-day festival begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month, Kislev.