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How to Celebrate Hanukkah: What is the meaning behind this Jewish festival and why is it sometimes called Chanukah

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How to Celebrate Hanukkah: What is the meaning behind this Jewish festival and why is it sometimes called Chanukah

They are saying each main Jewish vacation will be summed up by the next quote: ‘They tried to kill us, we gained, let’s eat.’

Within the case of Hanukkah, the story is that of the Maccabees, a guerrilla military of Jewish rebels primarily based in Israel who revolted in opposition to the Seleucid Greek King Antiochus who had – because the saying goes – tried to kill us.

The precise historic reality of the spiritual model of occasions is disputed, however, we do know that King Antiochus and the Maccabees existed. What’s much less established is whether or not the miracle described within the Hanukkah story actually occurred.

Jewish individuals are taught that the oppressed Maccabees by some means defeated Antiochus’ mighty troops and reclaimed the Temple in Jerusalem. To have fun, they tried a ritual lighting of a seven-pronged Menorah candle – however, they solely had sufficient oil to a final at some point. Miraculously, the oil lasted a full eight days, giving Jews sufficient time to obtain new oil. Because of this Hanukkah is called the competition of lights.

Round 2,000 years on, Jewish individuals have fun Hanukkah by lighting their Menorah each evening for eight days – with the essential distinction being that fashionable Menorahs – often known as Hanukkiahs – have eight prongs with a big prong, often known as a shamash, within the center. The shamash is used to gentle one additional candle every evening for the eight days. Observing in public is a key a part of celebrating the competition. Jewish individuals are inspired to put the Menorah within the entrance window of their house, and a few organizations have organized public Menorah lightings. 

Now for a very powerful half, the meals. The story of Hanukkah is about oil, so it is conventional to eat fried items akin to potato latke pancakes or doughnuts. 

As a result of the competition usually falls in December (though there aren’t any ensures with the Jewish lunisolar calendar), Hanukkah is usually often known as Jewish Christmas. Whereas present giving would not have any spiritual significance on Hanukkah, a convention has developed to offer presents throughout the competition – usually one for each evening – presumably due to the place it falls within the calendar.

In 2017 the celebration begins on December 12 and ends on December 20. 

Listed below are 5 details you could not know concerning the competition:

1. Hanukkah is the one Jewish vacation not talked about within the Hebrew Bible

In contrast to different main Jewish holidays, Hanukkah shouldn’t be talked about within the Hebrew Bible.  

2. Hanukkah means consuming doughnuts

To commemorate the miracle of the burning lamp, Jews usually eat meals fried in oil and this implies doughnuts.

three. Chocolate cash

Chocolate cash or gelt (Yiddish for cash) wrapped in gold and silver are exchanged at Hanukkah.

four. Spinning the Dreidel

Gelt can also be utilized in a sport performed with a spinning prime known as a dreidel at Hanukkah.

Gamers sit in a circle and put a chocolate coin within the center. Every particular person takes a flip at spinning the cube-shaped dreidel, which has a Hebrew letter on all sides.

5. Exchanging presents

Historically Jews solely exchanged presents on Purim, a Jewish vacation commemorating the time when the Jewish individuals dwelling in Persia have been saved from extermination by a younger lady known as Esther.

Nonetheless, when Christmas turned extra distinguished within the late 19th century and the Christian vacation’s consumerism grew, the Jewish customized shifted in imitation of Christmas.

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