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Hanukkah

The festival of lights, as it is often called, is a celebration of both Jewish spiritual values and the triumph of the Jews over the armies of Antiochus IV.

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When is Hanukkah?

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Hanukkah always begins on the same date in the Hebrew calendar - the 25th of Kislev, which is the day the Maccabees re-dedicated the temple over 2,150 years ago. Hanukkah lasts for eight days. The Hebrew calendar does not precisely match the secular calendar, so the first day of Hanukkah varies according to it. Hanukkah falls in December, sometimes beginning in late November.
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Why does Anne Frank gives Hanukkah presents to everyone?

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Because she was a sweet girl, she wanted everyone to know how much she loved them, and she wanted them to have a traditional Hanukkah.
Asked in Judaism, Hanukkah, Passover, Purim, Sukkot

What are Hanukkah Purim Pesach and Sukkot?

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These are four Jewish holidays. Purim takes place on the 14th of Adar which normally falls some time in March or April. This holiday is when we read the book of Esther. It is a joyous holiday where everyone dresses up in costume, people give gifts of cookies, sweets, and fruit, carnivals are held, and adults are supposed to get tipsy. Pesach takes place on the 15th to 22nd of Nisan, again some time in March or April. This holiday is when we read the story of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. The first night in Israel and the first 2 nights outside of Israel are observed with a religious service called a 'seder' that is held in the home. No leavened products are eaten during the whole of this holiday. Sukkot takes place on the 15th to 20th of Tishrei, some time in September or October. This holiday is in remembrance of HaShem's protection during our 40 years in the desert. It's celebrated by constructing a 4 walled temporary shelter outdoors called a 'sukkah', at least 2 of the walls must be temporary and we should be able to see the sky through the roof. At a minimum, all meals should be eaten in the sukkah and where climate permits, people will also sleep in it. Hanukkah takes place on the 25th of Kislev to the 3rd of Tevet, either the end of November or some time in December. Hanukkah is when we remember our victory over invaders who attempted our forced assimilation and is one of the least of the various holidays. It's celebrated by lighting candles each night of the holiday, starting with one plus a helper and adding an additional candle each night. Traditionally, foods cooked in oil and dairy foods are eating. The best known foods eaten during this holiday are potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (jam buster doughnuts).
Asked in Hanukkah

What is Hanukkah?

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Hanukkah (?????) is the Hebrew word for "dedication." It is the eight-day long festival of lights that is celebrated in Judaism. It is one of the most joyous holidays. However, it is a relatively minor holiday on the Jewish calendar. Hanukkah commemorates the day the holy Temple was rededicated/recaptured by the Maccabees and the defeat of Antiochus. The celebration dates back to 165 BCE. Hanukkah commemorates the miraculous military victory of the small, ill-equipped Jewish army; known as the Maccabees, over the ruling Greek Syrians. The Syrians had banned the Jewish religion and desecrated the temple. The war was fought because King Antiochus marched into Judea with his soldiers and wanted all of the Jewish people to either be killed, or to become Hellenists (a religion that includes mostly Greek customs, with a few Jewish customs). Antiochus began making terrible laws against the Jewish people which prevented them from following most of the Torah. He and his army destroyed the Jewish temple almost completely, and put pigs (which Jewish people do not eat) and idols all around it, all the while stealing their holy vessels. The miracle that occurred, was that the small cruse of consecrated oil, that was supposed to burn for just one day and was all that they had, burned for eight days in the temple's Menorah. Answer: On Hanukkah the chief celebration is for the miracle of the oil (Talmud, Shabbat 21b). As an augmentation to the celebration of that miracle, we also thank God during Hanukkah for the Hasmoneans' miraculous military victories (during which they ousted the Seleucids and their lackeys, the Hellenizing Jews, making possible the rededication of the Temple). The Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks) under Antiochus Epiphanes (2nd century BCE), at the instigation of the Hellenizers, had forbidden various Torah-practices such as Sabbath-observance and circumcision, rededicated the Temple to a Greek idol, and pressed the Jews to offer up sacrifices to the idol. One of the leading elder Jewish sages called upon the people to keep observing the Torah anyway; and if necessary, to use force in resisting the decrees. When a Hellenized Jew offered a sacrifice to the Greek idols in a nearby village, the sage killed him as well as the Greek overseer. This brought a violent reaction from the Greeks; and the loyal Jews, led by the Hasmonean family, were forced to retreat from their towns and strike out at the Greeks in an attempt to oust them from the Holy Land and to enable the people to once again observe the Torah. The Torah-Jews were heavily outnumbered by the attacking Greek armies, but God gave them miraculous victories again and again. After three years of struggle, the Greek armies retreated from Jerusalem, and the Hasmoneans (also called Maccabees) entered the Holy Temple which the Greeks had defiled, reconsecrated it to God, and began the Temple service once more. Among other things, they wanted to relight the olive oil candelabrum (Exodus ch. 25), but could only find one day's supply of undefiled oil - and it would take eight days to make and bring some more. Miraculously, the menorah stayed lit for eight days (Talmud, Shabbat 21b), allowing enough time for new oil to be prepared and brought. The significance of the miracle is that it demonstrated that God's presence was still there. The Torah-community was overjoyed, because God's presence meant everything to them. This is what Hanukkah represents: the closeness to God; and the avoidance of Hellenization (assimilation). The Torah Sages instituted the festival of Hanukkah at that time (Talmud, Shabbat 21b), to publicize the miracle (Rashi commentary, ibid). This is why we light our Hanukkah-menorahs. (The Hanukkah-menorah, or hanukkiyah, is a special form of the original seven-branched menorah. Our Hanukkah-menorahs have eight spaces for oil, or candles, to mark each of the eight days for which the oil lasted and a ninth to hold the shamash, a candle used to light the others.) The Al-Hanisim prayer which we recite during Hanukkah centers around the Hasmoneans' victory and rededication of the Temple, while the candle-lighting commemorates the miracle of the oil. Though the military victory is prominently mentioned in the prayers, it wouldn't have been celebrated if not for the miracle of the oil. It should also be noted that the main goal for which the Maccabees fought was not political independence. They fought to enable the people to observe the Torah's commandments; as we say in the Al Hanisim prayer: "the Greeks sought to cause us to forget Your Torah and leave Your statutes."
Asked in Holidays and Traditions, Judaism, Hanukkah

What are the Jewish holidays or festivals?

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Festivals and holy days Shabbat - every Saturday (from Friday at sunset until Saturday after twilight) Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year, 2 days Yom Kippur - a fast day, the Day of Atonement, 1 day Pesach - Passover - 7 or 8 days Shavuot - Feast of Weeks; Yom HaBikurim - 1 or 2 days Sukkot - Feast of Booths - 7 days Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah - 1 or 2 days Minor holidays and occasions (in which work is not forbidden): Rosh Chodesh - the new moon, every 29 or 30 days Hanukkah - the Festival of Lights - 8 days Tu Bishvat - New Year of the Trees - 1 day Purim - 1 day, followed by 1 day of Shushan Purim Sefirah - Counting of the Omer - 49 days Lag Ba'omer - 1 day The Three Weeks and the Nine Days (days of mourning preceding Tisha b'Av) Tu B'Av - 1 day
Asked in Hanukkah

How long is Hanukkah?

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The reason that Hanukkah lasts for 8 days is related to the holiday of Sukkot. Hanukkah lasts 8 days because during the Syrian occupation, the holiday of Sukkot could not be celebrated. As a result, once the Temple was reclaimed from the invaders and rededicated, there was a postponed observance of that holiday which is 8 days Answer: The reason given above ("related to Sukkot") is from a non-traditional source. Traditional Jewish sources (Talmud, Shabbat 21b; and Megillat Taanit ch.9) mention only the miracle of the oil. The menorah in the Temple was meant to be lit every evening. However, once the Temple was reclaimed from the Syrian-Greek invaders and rededicated, there was only enough oil to last for one day, and it would take eight days to make more. The oil that they had ended up burning for eight days in the Temple's menorah, the perfect amount of time until the new oil could be made and brought. The Torah Sages instituted the festival of Hanukkah at that time (Talmud, Shabbat 21b), to publicize the miracle (Rashi commentary, ibid). This is why we light our Hanukkah-menorahs. The Al-Hanisim prayer which we recite during Hanukkah centers around the Hasmoneans' victory and rededication of the Temple, while the candle-lighting commemorates only the miracle of the oil.
Asked in Judaism, Hanukkah

How do Jews celebrate Hanukkah?

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At nightfall the candles are lit, from the newest one on the left and then one by one to the right. This is done every day; thus on the 8th day 8 candles are lit. Special Hanukkah additions are added to the prayers. There is a special Torah reading each day A popular Hanukkah game is "dreidel" - a four sided top Dairy products are popular Latkes (potato pancakes), or Sufganiyot (jelly donuts) Giving out Hanukkah money (gelt) to children is a popular custom
Asked in Kwanzaa, Hanukkah

What is Hanukkah and Kwanzaa?

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Kwanzaa has nothing to do with Judaism. Hanukah is the celebration marking the miracle of the oil in the Second Temple.
Asked in Christmas, Hanukkah, Inkworld Series

How did Americans celebrate Christmas in the 1920's and 1930's?

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The '20s and '30s were when the modern Santa Claus came, so thats when most people across the globe started celebrating Christmas in our modern way.
Asked in Judaism, Hanukkah

What do Jews eat on Hanukkah?

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Special foods include potato pancakes (latkes) and jelly donuts (sufganiyot). Also, any foods fried in oil are traditional. There isn't anything that could be called a "Hanukkah Dinner" though. Pork, shellfish, and combinations of meat products and dairy products are not eaten by observant Jews during Channukah and all year around. There are no additional food prohibitions during Channukah. See also the attached Related Link.
Asked in Inventions, Judaism, Hanukkah

Who invented Hanukkah?

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From a Wiki contributor:The Jews. But no single person is identified as the inventor. Jewish Answer: Hanukkah was instituted by a special decree of the Jewish Sages (Talmud, Shabbat 21b). After several victories over the Greeks, the Hasmoneans (also called Maccabees) entered the Holy Temple which the Greeks had defiled, reconsecrated it to God, and began the Temple service once more. Among other things, they wanted to relight the olive oil candelabrum (Exodus ch.25), but could only find one day's supply of undefiled oil - and it would take eight days to make and bring some more. Miraculously, the menorah stayed lit for eight days (Talmud, Shabbat 21b), allowing enough time for new oil to be prepared and brought. Hanukkah was founded in commemoration of this. .
Asked in Judaism, Hanukkah

What does each candle on a menorah represent?

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The eight candles represent the eight days in which the small amount of olive oil continued miraculously to burn in the Temple at its re-dedication 2200 years ago. The Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks) under Antiochus Epiphanes (2nd century BCE), at the instigation of the Hellenizers, had forbidden various Torah-practices such as Sabbath-observance and circumcision, rededicated the Jewish Temple to a Greek idol, and pressed the Jews to offer up sacrifices to the idol. One of the leading elder Jewish sages called upon the people to keep observing the Torah anyway; and if necessary, to use force in resisting the decrees.When a Hellenized Jew offered a sacrifice to the Greek idols in a nearby village, the sage killed him as well as the Greek overseer. This brought a violent reaction from the Greeks; and the loyal Jews, led by the Hasmonean family, were forced to retreat from their towns and strike out at the Greeks in an attempt to oust them from the Holy Land and to enable the people to once again observe the Torah. The Torah-Jews were heavily outnumbered by the attacking Greek armies, but God gave them miraculous victories again and again. After three years of struggle, the Greek armies retreated from Jerusalem, and the Hasmoneans (also called Maccabees) entered the Holy Temple which the Greeks had defiled, reconsecrated it to God, and began the Temple service once more. Among other things, they wanted to relight the olive oil candelabrum (Exodus ch.25), but could only find one day's supply of undefiled oil - and it would take eight days to make and bring some more. Miraculously, the menorah stayed lit for eight days (Talmud, Shabbat 21b), allowing enough time for new oil to be prepared and brought. The significance of the miracle is that it demonstrated that God's presence was still there. The Torah-community was overjoyed, because God's presence meant everything to them. This is what Hanukkah represents: the closeness to God; and the avoidance of Hellenization (assimilation). The Torah-Sages instituted the festival of Hanukkah at that time (Talmud, Shabbat 21b), to publicize the miracle (Rashi commentary, ibid). This is why we light our Hanukkah-menorahs. (The Hanukkah-menorah, or hanukkiyah, is a special form of the original seven-branched menorah. Our Hanukkah-menorahs have eight spaces for oil, or candles, to mark each of the eight days for which the oil lasted, and a ninth to hold the shamash, a candle used to light the others.) The Al-Hanisim prayer which we recite during Hanukkah centers around the Hasmoneans' victory and rededication of the Temple, while the candle-lighting commemorates the miracle of the oil. Though the military victory is prominently mentioned in the prayers, it wouldn't have been celebrated if not for the miracle of the oil. It should also be noted that the main goal for which the Maccabees fought was not political independence. They fought to enable the people to observe the Torah's commandments; as we say in the Al Hanisim prayer: "The Greeks sought to cause us to forget Your Torah and leave Your statutes." See also: Jewish history timeline More about the Hellenized Jews
Asked in Judaism, Hanukkah

What chant is traditionally sung while lighting the menorah?

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There are three blessings recited during the lighting of the Chanukah Menorah, also known as a hanukiyah. The first two are as follows (in transliterated Hebrew and English): Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu melech ha'olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehadlik ner Shel Hanukkah. Praised are You, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who has made us holy by mitzvot and instructed us to light the Hanukkah candles. Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu melech ha'olam she'asah nisim lavotaynu bayamim hahaym bazman hazeh. Praised are You, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors at this season in ancient days. The third blessing is recited only on the first night: Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu melech ha'olam she-he-cheyanu vekimanu vehigiyanu lazman hazeh. Praised are You, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who has given us life, sustained us, and helped us to reach this day. Answer: In addition to the above, the Hanerot Halalu prayer is customarily said; and the Maoz Tzur song is sung.
Asked by Frederik Thompson in Hanukkah, Holidays and Traditions

What date does Hanukkah start this year?

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In 2019, Hanukkah will start on Sunday, Dec. 22 and end on Monday, Dec. 30.
Asked in Hanukkah

Does china celebrate Christmas Hanukkah or Kwanvaa?

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Some Chinese people celebrate Christmas. I have been to China during the winter and saw many department stores with decorations of Christmas Trees, Santa Claus, and Christmas Tree bulbs. However, since many Chinese are not Christians, they do not celebrate the birth of Jesus on this day. To them, it is just another holiday. Kwanzaa is an African American Holiday, not celebrated in China. Hanukkah is Jewish holiday, only celebrated in China by Jewish tourists and Jewish foreign workers.
Asked in Hanukkah

How can you compare contrast Christmas and Hanukkah?

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Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Jews against the Seleucid Empire, and in a broader sense, victory against assimilation. The only similarity is that both holidays occur within 28 days of each other.
Asked in Holidays and Traditions, Christmas, Hanukkah

Aside from Hanukkah what other holidays are celebrated around Christmas?

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There are many festivals and celebrations on or near the December 25th date. Some of the closest include (in no particular order): Yule Solstice the 8 Days of Hanukkah the 29-30 days of Ramadan (in some years) Boxing Day the 7 days of Kwanzaa New Years' Eve New Years' Day Human-light World Aids Day Festivus (actually created in 1966 but made popular in a Seinfeld episode) Bodhi Day Saint Stephen's Day Saint John the Evangelist's Day Saint Basil's Day Epiphany
Asked in Judaism, Hanukkah

Why is Hanukkah very special to celebrate?

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It celebrates the Jews' victory over the Greeks in 164 BC. Answer: On Hanukkah the chief celebration is for the miracle of the oil (Talmud, Shabbat 21b). As an augmentation to the celebration of that miracle, we also thank God during Hanukkah for the Hasmoneans' miraculous military victories (during which they ousted the Seleucids and their lackeys, the Hellenizing Jews, making possible the rededication of the Temple).
Asked in Hanukkah

When does Hanukkan start?

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25 Kislev. The dates are according to the Hebrew calendar and are not the same each year according to the civil (Gregorian) dates.
Asked in Judaism, Hanukkah

Who is the Hanukkah spirit similar to Santa Claus?

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There is no such thing as a "Hanukkah Spirit". Hanukkah has no equivalent to Santa Claus. Children receive Hanukkah gifts from their parents, friends, and family. Answer: Hanukkah was founded before Christianity. Note that the only traditional gift on Hanukkah is the gelt (coins) which are given to children.
Asked in Judaism, Hanukkah, Candles

How many candles are on a Hanukkah menorah?

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A Hanukkah menorah (also called a hanukkiah) has eight candles, with another as shamash - the "assistant candle" that is used to light the others. The structure of the hanukkiah reflects this: The shamash is not in line with the others; it is either above the other eight, or off to the side. two candles are lit the 1st night, and each night, and additional candle is added, ending with 9 candles on the 8th night. A total of 44 candles are used.
Asked in Judaism, Hanukkah

What do the four the letters on the dreidel mean?

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Dreidels have 4 letters on them and they make up an acronym. There are two version of the acronym and they are: ?? ???? ??? ?? or ?? ???? ??? ??. In Israel: Nes, Gadol, Haya, Po - A great miracle happened here. Outside of Israel: Nes, Gadol, Haya, Sham - A great miracle happened there. The four letters printed on a dreidel are: Hebrew letter . . . . Sound noohn (?) . . . . . . . . N gimel (?) . . .. . . . . . G heh (?) . . . . . . . . . . H shin (?) . . . . . . . . . . SH In Israel, the letter shin (?) on the dreidel is replace with the letter Peh (?) The Dreidel Game: Each of the letters also has a value in the game: ? = none ? = get all ? = half ? = put one in (in Israel ? means put one in)
Asked in International Cuisine, Honduras, Dolphins and Porpoises, Hanukkah

What foods are common in Honduras?

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Food in Daily Life. Beans and corn tortillas are the mainstays of the diet. The beans are usually fried, and the tortillas are small, thick, and usually handmade; ideally, they are eaten warm. A farm worker's lunch may be little more than a large stack of tortillas, a few spoonfuls of beans, and some salt. The ideal meal includes fried plantains, white cheese, rice, fried meat, a kind of thickened semisweet cream called mantequilla, a scrambled egg, a cabbage and tomato salad or a slice of avocado, and a cup of sweet coffee or a bottled soft drink. These meals are served in restaurants and homes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner year-round. Plantains and manioc are important foods in much of the country, especially the north and the Mosquitia. Diners often have a porch or a door open to the street. Dogs, cats, and chickens wander between the tables, and some people toss them bones and other scraps. There are Chinese restaurants owned by recent immigrants. In the early 1990s, North American fast-food restaurants became popular.
Asked in Hanukkah

Do Aden and Germany celebrate Hanukkah?

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No, they don't. However, members of Jewish communities, as well as any isolated Jews, in those countries, do.
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