Since candles may not be lit on Shabbat itself, the candles must be lit before sunset. Does your family celebrate Hanukkah or Purim? Mattathias (Mattityahu), a Jewish priest, and his five sons Jochanan, Simeon, Eleazar, Jonathan, and Judah led a rebellion against Antiochus. [147] Ashton says that Jewish families did this to maintain a Jewish identity distinct from mainline Christian culture, but on the other hand the mirroring of Hanukkah to Christmas helped Jewish families and kids feel American. The most preferred practice is to vary the number of lights each night. Eventually, Jewish priest Mattahias, his son Judah Maccabee, and their army (creatively called The Maccabees) revolted, ultimately forcing Antiochus IV out of Judea. The correct answer is both, in my humble opinion. The dates of Jewish holidays are determined by the ancient Hebrew (or Jewish) calendar as opposed to the Gregorian calendar that was introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, with which you are most familiar. They used this, yet it burned for eight days (the time it took to have new oil pressed and made ready). Here's the story behind the event also known as Chanukah. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. What does Hanukkah celebrate? [113] Traditional foods include latkes, a fried potato fritter, especially among Ashkenazi families. [77] So altogether, including the shamash, two lights are lit on the first night, three on the second and so on, ending with nine on the last night, for a total of 44 (36, excluding the shamash). [147] This in parts mirrors the ascendancy of Christmas, which like Hanukkah increased in importance in the 1800s. It looks very similar to a menorah with eight prongs, but has a ninth candle, the Shamash, used to light the other candles. [88] However, they must remain lit through the lighting of the Shabbat candles. Stephen Chernin/Getty Images, insurmountably difficult holiday to learn about. The following year these [days] were appointed a Festival with [the recital of] Hallel and thanksgiving. [31]. However, its original sound is closer to the English H than to the Scottish Ch, and Hanukkah more accurately represents the spelling in the Hebrew alphabet. [77] Electric lights are sometimes used and are acceptable in places where open flame is not permitted, such as a hospital room, or for the very elderly and infirm; however, those who permit reciting a blessing over electric lamps only allow it if it is incandescent and battery operated (an incandescent flashlight would be acceptable for this purpose), while a blessing may not be recited over a plug-in menorah or lamp. [45] Other authors point to possible socioeconomic reasons in addition to the religious reasons behind the civil war. The Aramaic New Testament uses the Aramaic word "Khawdata" (a close synonym), which literally means "renewal" or "to make new." I am a Christian mother of five wonderful children, blessed with an amazing husband. [88] Later than that, the lights should still be kindled, but the blessings should be recited only if there is at least somebody else awake in the house and present at the lighting of the Hannukah lights. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה. The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple (as you’ll read below). [123][124], Chanukkah gelt (Yiddish for "Chanukkah money") known in Israel by the Hebrew translation dmei Hanukkah, is often distributed to children during the festival of Hanukkah. [107], It is customary for women not to work for at least the first half-hour of the candles' burning, and some have the custom not to work for the entire time of burning. [117], Rabbinic literature also records a tradition of eating cheese and other dairy products during Hanukkah. The historical story centers on the Maccabees, a band of fighters from a priestly family trying to preserve and reclaim a certain Jewish way of life. The word 'Hanukkah' means 'Dedication' in Hebrew. This belief has been adopted by most of Orthodox Judaism, in as much as Rabbi Karo's Shulchan Aruch is a main Code of Jewish Law. Take part in Chanukah traditions such as lighting the menorah, playing the dreidel game, eating gelt, cooking and baking delicious food, and enjoying the fun of Hanukkah gifts. The festival of Hanukkah was instituted to celebrate this event. Whereupon your children entered the sanctuary of Your house, cleansed Your temple, purified Your sanctuary, kindled lights in Your holy courts, and appointed these eight days of Hanukkah in order to give thanks and praises unto Your holy name. When the Second Temple in Jerusalem was looted and services stopped, Judaism was outlawed. All Rights Reserved. [34] The Tobiads, who led the Hellenizing Jewish faction in Jerusalem, were expelled to Syria around 170 BCE when the high priest Onias and his pro-Egyptian faction wrested control from them. Due to the coincidental timing of Christmas and Hanukkah, some Jewish families participate in present exchanges and decorating. The dates of Hanukkah are determined by the Hebrew calendar. Some of the best known are "Ma'oz Tzur" (Rock of Ages), "Latke'le Latke'le" (Yiddish song about cooking Latkes), "Hanukkiah Li Yesh" ("I Have a Hanukkah Menorah"), "Ocho Kandelikas" ("Eight Little Candles"), "Kad Katan" ("A Small Jug"), "S'vivon Sov Sov Sov" ("Dreidel, Spin and Spin"), "Haneirot Halolu" ("These Candles which we light"), "Mi Yimalel" ("Who can Retell") and "Ner Li, Ner Li" ("I have a Candle"). This unique candle is called the shamash (Hebrew: שַׁמָּשׁ‎, "attendant"). Rashi, in a note to Shabbat 21b, says their purpose is to publicize the miracle. Judith went to the Assyrian camps and pretended to surrender. 46a.[24]. On … [71] An extra light called a shamash, meaning "attendant" or "sexton,"[72] is also lit each night, and is given a distinct location, usually higher, lower, or to the side of the others. They found only a single container that was still sealed by the High Priest, with enough oil to keep the menorah in the Temple lit for a single day. The town was saved, and the Assyrians defeated. Verification email has been resent. Ask any Rabbi and you’ll get a resounding “no.” While it is celebrating a miracle, there are much more sacred holidays in Judaism. As the majority of the population in Israel is of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewish descent, and these groups have their own Hanukkah dishes such as fritas de prasa, sfinj, cassola, and shamlias, among others. Therefore, Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah for eight days. Celebrate the festival of lights and stick to Hanukkah traditions to show your appreciation for the holiday. [133] This convergence prompted the creation of the portmanteau neologism Thanksgivukkah. In North America and in Israel it is common to exchange presents or give children presents at this time. In them, it is not permitted to mourn, neither to decree a fast [on those days], and anyone who has a vow to perform, let him perform it.[26]. This year, Hanukkah will begin at sundown on December 22 and last until sundown on December 30. [12] Moreover, the 'kaf' consonant is geminate in classical (but not modern) Hebrew. Despite what some holiday movies will have you believe, Hanukkah is not the Jewish equivalent of Christmas, nor is it an insurmountably difficult holiday to learn about. Lighting the lamps during the eight days of Hanukkah is a religious duty imposed by the sages. Gingerbread cookies in the shape of Stars of David and decorated with a Hanukkiah candelabrum. The eight-day rededication of the temple is described in 1 Maccabees 4:36–4:59, though the miracle of the oil does not appear here. Known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the … In addition, as followers of Yeshua (Jesus), we reflect on the Gospel message during this festival. The Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches consider them deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament. When is this day celebrated? 168 BCE: Under the reign of Antiochus IV, the, 166 BCE: Mattathias dies, and Judah takes his place as leader. These days are called Hanukkah, when it is forbidden to lament or to fast, just as it is on the days of Purim. [20], The miracle of the one-day supply of oil miraculously lasting eight days is first described in the Talmud, committed to writing about 600 years after the events described in the books of Maccabees. He banned brit milah (circumcision) and ordered pigs to be sacrificed at the altar of the temple.[36]. Nevertheless, though Chanukah is of rabbinic origin, it is traditionally celebrated in a major and very public fashion. This differs from Sabbath candles which are meant to be used for illumination and lighting. "[131] Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, in leading prayers at the ceremony commented on the how special the scene was, asking the President if he believed America's founding fathers could possibly have pictured that a female Asian-American rabbi would one day be at the White House leading Jewish prayers in front of the African-American president.[132]. Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the dedicating of the second temple in Jerusalem. Latkes have also been largely replaced by sufganiyot due to local economic factors, convenience and the influence of trade unions. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade" (NIV). A story similar in character, and older in date, is the one alluded to in 2 Maccabees 1:18–1:36 according to which the relighting of the altar fire by Nehemiah was due to a miracle which occurred on the 25th of Kislev, and which appears to be given as the reason for the selection of the same date for the rededication of the altar by Judah Maccabee.The above account in 1 Maccabees 4, as well as 2 Maccabees 1:9 portrays the feast as a delayed observation of the eight-day Feast of Booths (Sukkot)"; similarly 2 Maccabees 10:6 explains the length of the feast as "in the manner of the Feast of Booths". After outlawing the Jewish religion and Jewish practices, then-King Antiochus IV decreed that Jews must worship Greek gods in the Temple. Although most people use the word menorah in the context of Hanukkah, what observers are actually lighting is called a hanukkiah (ha-noo-kee-ah). Hanukkah lasts eight days starting on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev. Because the Jewish calendar is lunar (it us… Accordingly, lamps are set up at a prominent window or near the door leading to the street. The Jewish Encyclopedia. The Al HaNissim prayer is recited on Hanukkah as an addition to the Amidah prayer, which was formalized in the late 1st century. The light of hope must outlast the fires of hate. [96], The song was composed in the thirteenth century by a poet only known through the acrostic found in the first letters of the original five stanzas of the song: Mordechai. Only biblical holidays fit these criteria, and Chanukah was instituted some two centuries after the Hebrew Bible was completed. Many celebrate Hanukkah by saying prayers and singing songs following the lighting of the candles. Is Hanukkah the most important Jewish holiday? Stores in Haredi neighborhoods sell the traditional Shin dreidels as well, because they understand "there" to refer to the Temple and not the entire Land of Israel, and because the Hasidic Masters ascribe significance to the traditional letters. 2, 24–25[37]). [32] King Antiochus III the Great, wanting to conciliate his new Jewish subjects, guaranteed their right to "live according to their ancestral customs" and to continue to practice their religion in the Temple of Jerusalem. The Hanukkah menorah is also kindled daily in the synagogue, at night with the blessings and in the morning without the blessings. They likely feared inciting Jews to another revolt that might end in disaster, as the Bar Kochba revolt did. Hanukkah is a time to remember and celebrate this victory of truth and faithfulness to God’s Word. [114], Latkes are not popular in Israel, as they are more commonly made at home and are an Ashkenazi Jewish dish. On Hanukkah, it is traditional to eat foods made with oil, particularly olive oil, in commemoration of the miracle of the menorah. By 164 BCE, the Jewish revolt against the Seleucid monarchy was successful. The weekly Torah portion for the first Sabbath is almost always Miketz, telling of Joseph's dream and his enslavement in Egypt. It is customary amongst some Ashkenazi Jews to have a separate menorah for each family member (customs vary), whereas most Sephardi Jews light one for the whole household. Adapting the classical Hebrew pronunciation with the geminate and pharyngeal Ḥeth can lead to the spelling Hanukkah, while adapting the modern Hebrew pronunciation with no gemination and uvular Ḥeth leads to the spelling Chanukah. Answer: Hanukkah (which in Hebrew means 'to dedicate') is also referred to as the Festival of Lights or the Feast of Dedication. To complete your CNN profile and ensure you are able to receive important account information, please verify your email address. One minhag favors the fifth night of Hanukkah for giving Hanukkah gelt. Because of this, the sages of that generation ruled that the eight days beginning with the twenty-fifth of Kislev should be observed as days of rejoicing and praising the Lord. [21] The Talmud says that after the forces of Antiochus IV had been driven from the Temple, the Maccabees discovered that almost all of the ritual olive oil had been profaned. CNN Sans ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network. This Greek word was chosen because the Hebrew word for "consecration" or "dedication" is "Hanukkah" (חנכה). In addition, the Hallel (praise) Psalms (Psalm 113 – Psalm 118) are sung during each morning service and the Tachanun penitential prayers are omitted.[102][104]. [7][8], Many homiletical explanations have been given for the name:[9], In Hebrew, the word Hanukkah is written חֲנֻכָּה‎ or חֲנוּכָּה‎ (Ḥănukkāh). In modern Israel, the national and military aspects of Hanukkah became, once again, more dominant. It celebrates a miracle that happened in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago. Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights. [38] Judah ordered the Temple to be cleansed, a new altar to be built in place of the polluted one and new holy vessels to be made. The Hanukkah celebration revolves around the lighting each evening of candles on a nine-branched menorah, known in Hebrew as the hanukiah. It also celebrates a miracle that happened during this time, where just a day's supply of oil allowed the menorah in the rededicated Temple in Jerusalem to remain lit for eight days. [19] Modern scholar Reuvein Margolies suggests that as the Mishnah was redacted after the Bar Kochba revolt, its editors were reluctant to include explicit discussion of a holiday celebrating another relatively recent revolt against a foreign ruler, for fear of antagonizing the Romans. 12:50 PM EST, Tue December 24, 2019. [130], In December 2014, two Hanukkah celebrations were held at the White House. © 2020 Cable News Network. Megillat Taanit (1st century) contains a list of festive days on which fasting or eulogizing is forbidden. She went back to his tent with him, where she plied him with cheese and wine. The dreidel design was used through 2008. Before You Celebrate Hanukkah at Home… Here are 7 basics that will help you understand the spiritual warfare depicted in the Hanukkah story. [121], Indian Jews traditionally consume gulab jamun, fried dough balls soaked in a sweet syrup, similar to teiglach or bimuelos, as part of their Hanukkah celebrations. In 1989, President George H.W. [127] In 2004, after eight years of reissuing the menorah design, the USPS issued a dreidel design for the Hanukkah stamp. [97], After lighting the candles and Ma'oz Tzur, singing other Hanukkah songs is customary in many Jewish homes. [89], Inexpensive small wax candles sold for Hanukkah burn for approximately half an hour so should be lit no earlier than nightfall. Alex Wong/Getty Images. He also spoiled the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months. [134][135][136], Major Jewish holidays are those when all forms of work are forbidden, and that feature traditional holiday meals, kiddush, holiday candle-lighting, etc. [15] The sound represented by Ch ([χ], similar to the Scottish pronunciation of loch) is not native to the English language. She met Holofernes, who was smitten by her beauty. A Warner Media Company. [80][81][82][83] Diane Ashton attributed the increased visibility and reinvention of Hanukkah by some of the American Jewish community as a way to adapt to American life, re-inventing the festival in "the language of individualism and personal conscience derived from both Protestantism and the Enlightenment". What is Hanukkah and what does it celebrate? Hanukkah lasts for eight days and starts on the 25th of Kislev, the month in the Jewish calendar that occurs at about the same time as December. עַל כֵּן קַיִּימוּ בְּנֵי חַשְׁמוּנַּאי הָדֵין קְיָימָא וַאֲסַרוּ הָדֵין אֲסָּרָא אִנּוּן וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כּוּלְּהוֹן. At Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, they celebrate Hanukkah with a nightly menorah lighting ceremony starting at … Hanukkah begins at the 25th day of Kislev and concludes on the second or third day of Tevet (Kislev can have 29 or 30 days). Why are there so many different ways to spell Hanukkah and which one is right? Both unto Yourself did you make a great and holy name in Thy world, and unto Your people did You achieve a great deliverance and redemption. We kindle these lights for the miracles and the wonders, for the redemption and the battles that you made for our forefathers, in those days at this season, through your. Hanukkah is the … [citation needed], The story of Hanukkah is preserved in the books of the First and Second Maccabees, which describe in detail the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem and the lighting of the menorah. The first and last deal with general themes of divine salvation, and the middle four deal with events of persecution in Jewish history, and praises God for survival despite these tragedies (the exodus from Egypt, the Babylonian captivity, the miracle of the holiday of Purim, the Hasmonean victory), and a longing for the days when Judea will finally triumph over Rome. [106], The last day of Hanukkah is known by some as Zot Hanukkah and by others as Chanukat HaMizbeach, from the verse read on this day in the synagogue Numbers 7:84, Zot Hanukkat Hamizbe'ach: "This was the dedication of the altar". after it was defiled by a pagan ruler. ", "Hanukah or Chanukah? Please click the button below to agree to our Terms and Conditions and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. A small group of pre-schoolers from Gan HaYeled learn how to light a Hanukkah menorah from Rabbi Sarah Krinsky at Adas Israel Congregation November 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה ' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן.! הַאוּרִים‎, ḥag ha'urim ) the Seleucid monarchy was successful ) for Hanukkah Lights are discussed in Succah! To eulogize during Hanukkah Lights each night throughout the eight-day rededication of the Old Testament. [ 36 ] Ages... Problem, however of ] Hallel and thanksgiving practices, then-King Antiochus IV decreed that Jews must worship Greek in! Rabbinic reluctance to laud the militarism [ 12 ] Moreover, the Haftarah reading is from 1Kings 7:40 1Kings... Hanukkah Lights should usually burn for one night actually burned for eight days of Hanukkah was instituted celebrate! וּמִן סְאוֹבֲתָא Hanukkah 2020 begins at sunset on Thursday, December 10 already... 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