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The festival of Hanukkah was instituted to celebrate this event. According to the Talmud, unadulterated and undefiled pure olive oil with the seal of the kohen gadol high priest was needed for the menorah in the Temple, which was required to burn throughout the night every night. The story goes that one flask was found with only enough oil to burn for one day, yet it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of kosher oil for the menorah. An eight-day festival was declared by the Jewish sages to commemorate this miracle.
The version of the story in 1 Maccabees states that an eight-day celebration of songs and sacrifices was proclaimed upon re-dedication of the altar, and makes no specific mention of the miracle of the oil. Some modern scholars argue that the king was intervening in an internal civil war between the Maccabean Jews and the Hellenized Jews in Jerusalem. What began in many respects as a civil war escalated when the Hellenistic kingdom of Syria sided with the Hellenizing Jews in their conflict with the traditionalists. This may explain why the king, in a total departure from Seleucid practice in all other places and times, banned a traditional religion.
The miracle of the oil is widely regarded as a legend and its authenticity has been questioned since the Middle Ages. Selected battles between the Maccabees and the Seleucid Syrian-Greeks:. Hanukkah is celebrated with a series of rituals that are performed every day throughout the 8-day holiday, some are family-based and others communal. There are special additions to the daily prayer service , and a section is added to the blessing after meals. Hanukkah is not a "Sabbath-like" holiday, and there is no obligation to refrain from activities that are forbidden on the Sabbath , as specified in the Shulkhan Arukh.
There is no religious reason for schools to be closed, although in Israel schools close from the second day for the whole week of Hanukkah. Fried foods such as latkes potato pancakes , jelly doughnuts sufganiyot , and Sephardic bimuelos are eaten to commemorate the importance of oil during the celebration of Hanukkah.
Some also have a custom of eating dairy products to remember Judith and how she overcame Holofernes by feeding him cheese, which made him thirsty, and giving him wine to drink.
When Holofernes became very drunk, Judith cut off his head. Each night throughout the 8 day holiday, a candle or oil-based light is lit. As a universally practiced "beautification" hiddur mitzvah of the mitzvah , the number of lights lit is increased by one each night. Among Ashkenazim the tendency is for every male member of the household and in many families, girls as well to light a full set of lights each night,   while among Sephardim the prevalent custom is to have one set of lights for the entire household.
The purpose of the shamash is to adhere to the prohibition, specified in the Talmud,  against using the Hanukkah lights for anything other than publicizing and meditating on the Hanukkah miracle.
This differs from Sabbath candles which are meant to be used for illumination and lighting. Hence, if one were to need extra illumination on Hanukkah, the shamash candle would be available, and one would avoid using the prohibited lights. Some, especially Ashkenazim, light the shamash candle first and then use it to light the others. It is Sephardic custom not to light the shamash first and use it to light the rest. Instead, the shamash candle is the last to be lit, and a different candle or a match is used to light all the candles. Some Hasidic Jews follow this Sephardic custom as well.
The lights can be candles or oil lamps.
What Do People Do?
Most Jewish homes have a special candelabrum referred to as either a Chanukiah the modern Israeli term or a menorah the traditional name, simply Hebrew for 'lamp'. Many families use an oil lamp traditionally filled with olive oil for Hanukkah. Like the candle Chanukiah, it has eight wicks to light plus the additional shamash light.
In the United States, Hanukkah became a more visible festival in the public sphere from the s when Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson called for public awareness and observance of the festival and encouraged the lighting of public menorahs. The reason for the Hanukkah lights is not for the "lighting of the house within", but rather for the "illumination of the house without," so that passersby should see it and be reminded of the holiday's miracle i. Accordingly, lamps are set up at a prominent window or near the door leading to the street. It is customary amongst some Ashkenazi Jews to have a separate menorah for each family member customs vary , whereas most Sephardi Jews light one for the whole household.
Only when there was danger of antisemitic persecution were lamps supposed to be hidden from public view, as was the case in Persia under the rule of the Zoroastrians , or in parts of Europe before and during World War II. However, most Hasidic groups light lamps near an inside doorway, not necessarily in public view.
Generally, women are exempt in Jewish law from time-bound positive commandments, although the Talmud requires that women engage in the mitzvah of lighting Hanukkah candles "for they too were involved in the miracle. Hanukkah lights should usually burn for at least half an hour after it gets dark.
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Inexpensive small wax candles sold for Hanukkah burn for approximately half an hour so should be lit no earlier than nightfall. Since candles may not be lit on Shabbat itself, the candles must be lit before sunset. Therefore, the Hanukkah menorah is lit first with larger candles than usual,  followed by the Shabbat candles. At the end of the Shabbat, there are those who light the Hanukkah lights before Havdalah and those who make Havdalah before the lighting Hanukkah lights. If for whatever reason one didn't light at sunset or nightfall, the lights should be kindled later, as long as there are people in the streets.
Typically two blessings brachot ; singular: brachah are recited during this eight-day festival when lighting the candles.follow url
Hanukkah - Dates, Recipes & Meaning | jabidajyzu.tk
On the first night, the shehecheyanu blessing is added, making a total of three blessings. The blessings are said before or after the candles are lit depending on tradition. On the first night of Hanukkah one light candle or oil is lit on the right side of the menorah, on the following night a second light is placed to the left of the first but it is lit first, and so on, proceeding from placing candles right to left but lighting them from left to right over the eight nights.
Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner Hanukkah. Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam, she'asa nisim la'avoteinu ba'yamim ha'heim ba'z'man ha'ze. After the lights are kindled the hymn Hanerot Halalu is recited. There are several different versions; the version presented here is recited in many Ashkenazic communities: . In the Ashkenazi tradition, each night after the lighting of the candles, the hymn Ma'oz Tzur is sung.
The song contains six stanzas. The first and last deal with general themes of divine salvation, and the middle four deal with events of persecution in Jewish history , and praises God for survival despite these tragedies the exodus from Egypt, the Babylonian captivity , the miracle of the holiday of Purim , the Hasmonean victory , and a longing for the days when Judea will finally triumph over Rome.
The song was composed in the thirteenth century by a poet only known through the acrostic found in the first letters of the original five stanzas of the song: Mordechai. The familiar tune is most probably a derivation of a German Protestant church hymn or a popular folk song. After lighting the candles and Ma'oz Tzur, singing other Hanukkah songs is customary in many Jewish homes. In North America and in Israel it is common to exchange presents or give children presents at this time. In addition, many families encourage their children to give tzedakah charity in lieu of presents for themselves.
Translation of Al ha-Nissim . The same prayer is added to the grace after meals. In addition, the Hallel praise Psalms Psalm — Psalm are sung during each morning service and the Tachanun penitential prayers are omitted. The Torah is read every day in the shacharit morning services in synagogue , on the first day beginning from Numbers according to some customs, Numbers , and the last day ending with Numbers Since Hanukkah lasts eight days it includes at least one, and sometimes two, Jewish Sabbaths Saturdays.
The weekly Torah portion for the first Sabbath is almost always Miketz , telling of Joseph 's dream and his enslavement in Egypt. The Hanukkah menorah is also kindled daily in the synagogue, at night with the blessings and in the morning without the blessings. The menorah is not lit during Shabbat, but rather prior to the beginning of Shabbat as described above and not at all during the day. It still forms part of the liturgy of the Yemenite Jews. The last day of Hanukkah is known by some as Zot Hanukkah and by others as Chanukat HaMizbeach , from the verse read on this day in the synagogue Numbers , Zot Hanukkat Hamizbe'ach : "This was the dedication of the altar".
According to the teachings of Kabbalah and Hasidism , this day is the final "seal" of the High Holiday season of Yom Kippur and is considered a time to repent out of love for God. In this spirit, many Hasidic Jews wish each other Gmar chatimah tovah "may you be sealed totally for good" , a traditional greeting for the Yom Kippur season. It is taught in Hasidic and Kabbalistic literature that this day is particularly auspicious for the fulfillment of prayers. It is customary for women not to work for at least the first half-hour of the candles' burning, and some have the custom not to work for the entire time of burning.
It is also forbidden to fast or to eulogize during Hanukkah. A large number of songs have been written on Hanukkah themes, perhaps more so than for any other Jewish holiday. Among the most well known songs in English-speaking countries are " Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel "  and " Oh Chanukah ". Among the Rebbes of the Nadvorna Hasidic dynasty, it is customary for the Rebbes to play violin after the menorah is lit. There is a custom of eating foods fried or baked in oil preferably olive oil to commemorate the miracle of a small flask of oil keeping the Second Temple 's Menorah alight for eight days.
Hungarian Jews eat cheese pancakes known as "cheese latkes". Latkes are not popular in Israel, having been largely replaced by sufganiyot due to local economic factors, convenience and the influence of trade unions. Rabbinic literature also records a tradition of eating cheese and other dairy products during Hanukkah. After intense fighting, the water supply of the Jews was cut off and the situation became desperate. Judith, a pious widow, told the city leaders that she had a plan to save the city. Judith went to the Assyrian camps and pretended to surrender. She met Holofernes, who was smitten by her beauty.
She went back to his tent with him, where she plied him with cheese and wine. When he fell into a drunken sleep, Judith beheaded him and escaped from the camp, taking the severed head with her the beheading of Holofernes by Judith has historically been a popular theme in art. When Holofernes' soldiers found his corpse, they were overcome with fear; the Jews, on the other hand, were emboldened and launched a successful counterattack.
The town was saved, and the Assyrians defeated. Roast goose has historically been a traditional Hanukkah food among Eastern European and American Jews, although the custom has declined in recent decades.
10 reasons everyone should be sad they don’t celebrate Hanukkah
After lighting the candles, it is customary to play or spin the dreidel. The dreidel, or sevivon in Hebrew, is a four-sided spinning top that children play with during Hanukkah. Stores in Haredi neighborhoods sell the traditional Shin dreidels as well, because they understand "there" to refer to the Temple and not the entire Land of Israel, and because the Hasidic Masters ascribe significance to the traditional letters.
Chanukkah gelt Yiddish for "Chanukkah money" known in Israel by the Hebrew translation dmei Hanukkah , is often distributed to children during the festival of Hanukkah. The giving of Hanukkah gelt also adds to the holiday excitement. The amount is usually in small coins, although grandparents or relatives may give larger sums. The tradition of giving Chanukah gelt dates back to a long-standing East European custom of children presenting their teachers with a small sum of money at this time of year as a token of gratitude.
One minhag favors the fifth night of Hanukkah for giving Hanukkah gelt. The United States has a history of recognizing and celebrating Hanukkah in a number of ways. In president Jimmy Carter took part in the first public Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony of the National Menorah held across the White House lawn. In , President George H. Bush displayed a menorah in the White House. In , President Bill Clinton invited a group of schoolchildren to the Oval Office for a small ceremony. The dreidel design was used through In a Hanukkah stamp was issued with a design featured a photograph of a menorah with nine lit candles.
In , President George W. Bush held an official Hanukkah reception in the White House in conjunction with the candle-lighting ceremony, and since then this ceremony has become an annual tradition attended by Jewish leaders from around the country. In December , two Hanukkah celebrations were held at the White House. The White House commissioned a menorah made by students at the Max Rayne school in Israel and invited two of its students to join U. The students' school in Israel had been subjected to arson by extremists.
President Obama said these "students teach us an important lesson for this time in our history. The light of hope must outlast the fires of hate. That's what the Hanukkah story teaches us. It's what our young people can teach us— that one act of faith can make a miracle, that love is stronger than hate, that peace can triumph over conflict.
The dates of Hanukkah are determined by the Hebrew calendar. Hanukkah begins at the 25th day of Kislev and concludes on the 2nd or 3rd day of Tevet Kislev can have 29 or 30 days. The Jewish day begins at sunset. Hanukkah dates for recent and upcoming:.
In , on 28 November, the American holiday of Thanksgiving fell during Hanukkah for only the third time since Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln. The last time was ; and due to the Gregorian and Jewish calendars being slightly out of sync with each other, it will not happen again in the foreseeable future. Major Jewish holidays are those when all forms of work are forbidden, and that feature traditional holiday meals, kiddush, holiday candle-lighting, etc.
Only biblical holidays fit these criteria, and Chanukah was instituted some two centuries after the Hebrew Bible was completed. Nevertheless, though Chanukah is of rabbinic origin, it is traditionally celebrated in a major and very public fashion. The requirement to position the menorah, or Chanukiah, at the door or window, symbolizes the desire to give the Chanukah miracle a high-profile. Some Jewish historians suggest a different explanation for the rabbinic reluctance to laud the militarism. First, the rabbis wrote after Hasmonean leaders had led Judea into Rome's grip and so may not have wanted to offer the family much praise.
Second, they clearly wanted to promote a sense of dependence on God, urging Jews to look toward the divine for protection. They likely feared inciting Jews to another revolt that might end in disaster, like the CE experience. With the advent of Zionism and the state of Israel, however, these themes were reconsidered. In modern Israel, the national and military aspects of Hanukkah became, once again, more dominant.
In North America especially, Hanukkah gained increased importance with many Jewish families in the latter part of the 20th century, including among large numbers of secular Jews , who wanted a Jewish alternative to the Christmas celebrations that often overlap with Hanukkah. Though it was traditional among Ashkenazi Jews to give "gelt" or money to children during Hanukkah, in many families this has been supplemented with other gifts so that Jewish children can enjoy gifts just as their Christmas-celebrating peers do.
While Hanukkah is a relatively minor Jewish holiday, as indicated by the lack of religious restrictions on work other than a few minutes after lighting the candles, in North America, Hanukkah in the 21st century has taken a place equal to Passover as a symbol of Jewish identity. Both the Israeli and North American versions of Hanukkah emphasize resistance, focusing on some combination of national liberation and religious freedom as the defining meaning of the holiday.
Some Jews in North America and Israel have taken up environmental concerns in relation to Hanukkah's "miracle of the oil", emphasizing reflection on energy conservation and energy independence. An example of this is the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life's renewable energy campaign. In Singer, Isidore ; et al. The Jewish Encyclopedia. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Hanukkah disambiguation. A hanukkiah , a menorah with nine branches. Further information: Coele-Syria. Further information: Second Temple period. Main article: Maccabean Revolt. Main article: Maccabees.
Further information: Menorah Hanukkah and Miracle of the cruse of oil. Hanneirot hallalu anu madlikin 'al hannissim ve'al hanniflaot 'al hatteshu'ot ve'al hammilchamot she'asita laavoteinu bayyamim haheim, u bazzeman hazeh 'al yedei kohanekha hakkedoshim. Vekhol-shemonat yemei Hanukkah hanneirot hallalu kodesh heim, ve-ein lanu reshut lehishtammesh baheim ella lir'otam bilvad kedei lehodot ul'halleil leshimcha haggadol 'al nissekha ve'al nifleotekha ve'al yeshu'otekha.
Main article: Ma'oz Tzur. In the days of the Hasmonean Mattathias, son of Johanan the high priest, and his sons, when the iniquitous Greco-Syrian kingdom rose up against Your people Israel, to make them forget Your Torah and to turn them away from the ordinances of Your will, then You in your abundant mercy rose up for them in the time of their trouble, pled their cause, executed judgment, avenged their wrong, and delivered the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and insolent ones into the hands of those occupied with Your Torah.
Both unto Yourself did you make a great and holy name in Thy world, and unto Your people did You achieve a great deliverance and redemption. Whereupon your children entered the sanctuary of Your house, cleansed Your temple, purified Your sanctuary, kindled lights in Your holy courts, and appointed these eight days of Hanukkah in order to give thanks and praises unto Your holy name. Main article: Hanukkah music. Main article: Dreidel. Main article: Hanukkah gelt. Main article: White House Hanukkah Party. Further information: Jewish and Israeli holidays — Sunset, 24 December — nightfall, 1 January  Sunset, 12 December — nightfall, 20 December Sunset, 2 December — nightfall, 10 December Sunset, 22 December — nightfall, 30 December Sunset, 10 December — nightfall, 18 December Sunset, 28 November — nightfall, 6 December Sunset, 18 December — nightfall, 26 December Sunset, 7 December — nightfall, 15 December Judaism portal.
Radwin CC-BY Retrieved 26 August Archived from the original on 5 June Retrieved 6 October The Hanukkah lights are lit at sundown, the time when passers-by are most likely to see them. When possible, the menorah is placed in a window or elsewhere in the home so that it can be seen from the outside. This custom is especially prevalent in Israel, where cities and towns hold public menorah - lighting ceremonies and the entire country is full of candles, bright with the celebration of the Festival of Lights.
Ritual objects associated with Hanukkah include the menorah and the dreidel. The nine branches include eight branches, one for each day of the holiday, and one branch for the shamash helper candle that is used to light the other candles. In ancient times, oil was used in the menorah. Over time, candles were substituted for oil. The Hanukkah menorah can also be called a hanukkiyah. Historically, Hanukkah was one of the few times of the year when rabbis permitted games of chance. The four sides of the top bear four Hebrew letters: nun, gimel, hei, and shin. Each player in turn spins the dreidel and proceeds as follows:.
In Israel, one letter on the dreidel differs from those used in the rest of the world. For many families and communities, singing is a particularly joyous part of Hanukkah celebrations. There are many traditional and contemporary songs for the holiday , and videos and recordings are widely available online.
It was composed in Europe in the 12th or 13th century. Latkes potato pancakes and sufganiyot jelly doughnuts —foods cooked in oil—are customarily eaten during Hanukkah and serve as a symbol of the legend of the jar of oil that lasted for eight days. In Israel, pastry shops specialize in creating delicious and creative sufganiyot.
Also popular are bimuelos fried dough puffs , sfenj North African yeast doughnuts , and keftes de prasas fried leek patties. In some congregations, on the Shabbat during Hanukkah families are invited to bring their own hanukkiyot to Friday night services and everyone lights them together in community. In addition, we read special Torah portions during the holiday. The Torah reading for each day of Hanukkah is taken from Numbers , which recounts the dedication of the Mishkan temporary, moveable place of worship by the Israelites in the desert.
On Shabbat during Hanukkah, we read the regular weekly portion. During Hanukkah, the haftarah readings additional selections from the prophetic books are Zechariah and I Kings To prepare to celebrate Hanukkah at home, you will need candles and a Hanukkah menorah with nine candle holders also called a hanukkiyah , or, as is the custom in some families, one menorah for each member of the family. You also can decide together as a family how to celebrate each night of the holiday — whether with activities, cooking, or by bringing a social justice element to the holiday.
Many families like to exchange gifts during Hanukkah, and some families also use the opportunity to give charitable gifts. This social justice gift guide offers suggestions that emphasize tikkun olam , repair of our broken world. From one Hanukkah to the next, it can be a challenge to remember in which direction to add candles and in which direction to light them.
Anyone may chant or recite the blessings by lighting and holding the shamash, reciting the blessings, and then using the shamash to light the candles from left to right, so that the kindling begins with the newest light. Two blessings are chanted or recited every night of Hanukkah. The first is a blessing over the candles themselves. The second blessing expresses thanks for the miracle of deliverance.
A third blessing — the Shehecheyanu prayer, marking all joyous occasions in Jewish life — is chanted or recited only on the first night. There are almost as many ways to observe Shabbat as there are Jewish people, but they each usually feature pleasure oneg , community kehillah , and rest menucha.
If you're curious about Judaism, thinking of converting, or know someone who is, here are some excellent resources to learn more about Judaism. Want to explore Reform Judaism but have no in-person opportunities to study?
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- The Human Impact on the Natural Environment: Past, Present, and Future;
- Ernies Truth (Evansville Book 9).
This class is for you! Reform Zionism is a continuation of the early Zionist dream to foster a living, breathing national culture that represents the highest ideals of Jewish peoplehood.