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Snippet: Hanukkah

BY THE DIVERSITY STORY



Overview

  • Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. According to legend, Jerusalem is where Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.

  • Hanukkah is also called the Feast of Dedication, the Festival of Lights, or the Feast of the Maccabees, and is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays,

  • In 2020, the celebration of Hanukkah will begin in the evening of Thursday, December 10th, and end in the evening of Friday, December 18th.


Image from: Breaking Matzo


History

  • In 165 BCE, celebrating his victory over Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Judas Maccabeus ordered the purification of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

  • A new alter was installed and dedicated to Kislev 25

  • Judas then said that the restoration of the Temple should be celebrated every year for eight days starting on that day.

  • This story ties into the reason that “Hanukkah” actually means “dedication.”


Symbols


Menorah

  • also called the Hanukkiah, the menorah holds 9 candles, 8 for each night of the holiday, then 1 for the shamash, which is the candle that lights the others.

Dreidel

  • The dreidel is a game played during Hanukkah, involving spinning a four sided top

  • The symbols on each side, nun, gimel, hey, and shin. The game involves a pot of coins, and what symbol the dreidel lands on determines what coins you get or place back.


Image from: Jewish Journal


How it’s celebrated


Many modern Jewish families celebrate by lighting the Menorah/Hanukkiah, every night one candle is lit from right to left (similar to how Hebrew is written right to left). Some families may play dreidel games, which come from Jewish communities using the dreidel game to be able to protect themselves from being found out for studying the Torah. Others may eat foods like sufganiyot and latkes, both of which are fried in oil to commemorate the Maccabees’ long-burning oil.






SOURCES

https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/hanukkah

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Hanukkah

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/22/us/hanukkah-questions-answered-trnd/index.html

https://18doors.org/symbols_and_observances_of_hanukkah/


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