25 2024

Chanukah 5784

Chanukkah (December 25-January 2), also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century BCE.

The story of Chanukkah centers around the victory of the Maccabees, a group of Jewish rebels, against the oppressive Seleucid Empire. After reclaiming the Temple, the Maccabees found only enough oil to light the Temple's menorah for one day, but miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days until more could be prepared. This miracle is celebrated by lighting the candles of the menorah each night of Chanukkah, adding one candle per night until all eight are lit.

Other customs of Chanukkah include reciting special prayers, playing dreidel (a spinning top game), eating foods cooked in oil (such as latkes and sufganiyot), and exchanging gifts. The holiday serves as a reminder of the importance of religious freedom, perseverance, and the triumph of light over darkness.