Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Trivia - Hanukkah


This year Hanukkah began on November 27th and continues until December 5th

Commencing on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev, Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by the Syrians. In 168 BC, members of the Jewish family Maccabee led a revolt against the Greek Syrians due to the policies of Syrian King Antiochus IV which were aimed at nullifying the Jewish faith. Part of this strategem included changing the Beit HaMikdash - the Holy Temple in Jerusalem - to a Greek temple complete with idolatry. Led by Judah Maccabee, the Jews won victory over the Syrians in 165 BC and reclaimed their temple.After cleansing the temple and preparing for its rededication, it was found there was not enough oil to light the N'er Tamid, an oil lamp present in Jewish houses of worship which represents eternal light. Once lit, the lamp should never be extinguished.

A search of the temple produced a small vial of undefiled oil -- enough for only one day. Miraculously, the Temple lights burned for eight days until a new supply of oil was brought. In remembrance of this miracle, one candle of the Menorah - an eight branched candelabra - is lit each of the eight days of Hanukkah. Hanukkah, which means dedication, is a Hebrew word when translated is commonly spelled Hanukah, Chanukah, and Hannukah due to different translations and customs.The tradition of receiving gifts on each of the eight days of Hanukkah is relatively new and due in part to the celebration's proximity to the Christmas season.

Trivia continues tomorrow -


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