Another tradition for many children is spinning a dreidel, a four sided spinning top. [113] Traditional foods include latkes, a fried potato fritter, especially among Ashkenazi families. Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 4: PS 1 second grade students play with dreidels and chocolate gold coins after lighting the menorah December 4, 2007 at the Eldridge St. Synagogue in New York City. The word 'Hanukkah' means 'Dedication' in Hebrew. Some Hasidic Jews follow this Sephardic custom as well. [12] Moreover, the 'kaf' consonant is geminate in classical (but not modern) Hebrew. Judith went to the Assyrian camps and pretended to surrender. 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. When the Second Temple in Jerusalem was looted and services stopped, Judaism was outlawed. Each year, Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, which is the ninth month of the Hebrew calendar . [126], The United States has a history of recognizing and celebrating Hanukkah in a number of ways. The Sephardi Jews eat fritas de prasa, a similar fried dish made with mashed potato and leek. The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple (as you’ll read below). These days are called Hanukkah, when it is forbidden to lament or to fast, just as it is on the days of Purim. [85], Generally, women are exempt in Jewish law from time-bound positive commandments, although the Talmud requires that women engage in the mitzvah of lighting Hanukkah candles "for they too were involved in the miracle. When Antiochus IV was in power, all Jewish practices were outlawed, including reading and studying the sacred Jewish text, the Torah. Of course, there is also the time-honored tradition of watching “The Rugrats Chanukah” –an enjoyable cinematic experience for all ages. [28] Josephus does not say the festival was called Hanukkah but rather the "Festival of Lights": In the New Testament, John 10:22–23 says, "Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. [145] Recent celebrations have also seen the presence of the Hanukkah bush, which is seen as a Jewish counterpart to the Christmas tree. Many of the newest customs are tongue-in-cheek concepts that directly poke fun at how much Hanukkah has been commodified to look like a “Jewish Christmas.” (See: Mensch on a Bench – a take on the loved by kids, loathed by parents Elf on the Shelf – and the Hanukkah spin on the ubiquitous ugly Christmas sweater craze). that the sole cruse of pure oil found which held enough oil to burn for one night actually burned for eight nights). Hanneirot hallalu anu madlikin 'al hannissim ve'al hanniflaot 'al hatteshu'ot ve'al hammilchamot she'asita laavoteinu bayyamim haheim, (u)bazzeman hazeh 'al yedei kohanekha hakkedoshim. "Ḥanukkah". The Greek noun used appears in the neuter plural as "the renewals" or "the consecrations" (Greek: τὰ ἐγκαίνια; ta enkaínia). This year, Hanukkah will begin at sundown on December 22 and last until sundown on December 30. CNN Sans ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network. Its use in transliteration of Hebrew into English is based on influences of Yiddish and German, particularly since transliteration into German tended to be earlier than transliteration into English. It still forms part of the liturgy of the Yemenite Jews. Why do the dates of Hanukkah change every year? Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday which celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the larger Syrian army. I am a Christian mother of five wonderful children, blessed with an amazing husband. [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. In Singer, Isidore; et al. The tradition of giving Chanukah gelt dates back to a long-standing East European custom of children presenting their teachers with a small sum of money at this time of year as a token of gratitude. [139][140], While Hanukkah is a relatively minor Jewish holiday, as indicated by the lack of religious restrictions on work other than a few minutes after lighting the candles, in North America, Hanukkah in the 21st century has taken a place equal to Passover as a symbol of Jewish identity. [79], In the United States, Hanukkah became a more visible festival in the public sphere from the 1970s when Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson called for public awareness and observance of the festival and encouraged the lighting of public menorahs. Hanukkah (/ˈhɑːnəkə/ HAH-nə-kə; Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה‎ ḥanūkká, Tiberian: ḥanūkkā, usually spelled חֲנוּכָּה‎, pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew, [ˈχanukə] or [ˈχanikə] in Yiddish; a transliteration also romanized as Chanukah, Ḥanukah, Chanuka, Hanuka) is a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE. You may have heard Hanukkah referred to as “The Festival of Lights” and might already be familiar with a menorah. The town was saved, and the Assyrians defeated. Both foods are fried in oil, commemorative of the miracle of the Maccabees’ long-burning oil. Why are there so many different ways to spell Hanukkah and which one is right? The Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches consider them deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament. It is a holiday, lasting eight days, that celebrates the rededication of Jerusalem's temple in 164 B.C. On Hanukkah, the Maccabean Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple. The Temple was liberated and rededicated. The giving of Hanukkah gelt also adds to the holiday excitement. [88] The custom of many is to light at sundown, although most Hasidim light later. 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. "We thank You also for the miraculous deeds and for the redemption and for the mighty deeds and the saving acts wrought by You, as well as for the wars which You waged for our ancestors in ancient days at this season. 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]. In North America especially, Hanukkah gained increased importance with many Jewish families in the latter part of the 20th century, including among large numbers of secular Jews, who wanted a Jewish alternative to the Christmas celebrations that often overlap with Hanukkah. [citation needed], The Mishna (late 2nd century) mentions Hanukkah in several places,[18] but never describes its laws in detail and never mentions any aspect of the history behind it. According to the Talmud, "For when the Greeks entered the Sanctuary, they defiled all the oils therein, and when the Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them, they made search and found only one cruse of oil which lay with the seal of the kohen gadol (high priest), but which contained sufficient [oil] for one day's lighting only; yet a miracle was wrought therein, and they lit [the lamp] therewith for eight days. The familiar tune is most probably a derivation of a German Protestant church hymn or a popular folk song. ", M. Zambelli, "L'ascesa al trono di Antioco IV Epifane di Siria,", wicks of the menorah miraculously burned for eight days, Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period, activities that are forbidden on the Sabbath, List of Jewish prayers and blessings § Hanukkah, "The Christmas effect: How Hanukkah became a big holiday", "The Lights of Chanukah: Laws and Customs", "Yes, Virginia, Hanukkah Has a Correct Spelling", "Is There a Right Way to Spell Hanukkah? By 166 BCE, Mattathias had died, and Judah took his place as leader. They likely feared inciting Jews to another revolt that might end in disaster, as the Bar Kochba revolt did. Success! [138], With the advent of Zionism and the state of Israel, however, these themes were reconsidered. Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the 160s BC. [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. The dreidel design was used through 2008. [40][41][42][43] These competed violently over who would be the High Priest, with traditionalists with Hebrew/Aramaic names like Onias contesting with Hellenizing High Priests with Greek names like Jason and Menelaus. 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. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days to signify the eight days the oil burned. Password reset email has been resent. The blessings for Hanukkah lights are discussed in tractate Succah, p. However, most Hasidic groups light lamps near an inside doorway, not necessarily in public view. In 167 BCE, Antiochus ordered an altar to Zeus erected in the Temple. The Torah is read every day in the shacharit morning services in synagogue, on the first day beginning from Numbers 6:22 (according to some customs, Numbers 7:1), and the last day ending with Numbers 8:4. Although not one of the more serious holy days of the Jewish tradition, it is still traditionally celebrated with specific foods and ceremonies. This happened in the 160s BCE/BC (before Jesus was born). Merriam-Webster’ uses the spelling “Hanukkah,” but “Chanukah” is also widely accepted. Hanukkah bushes are generally discouraged today by most rabbis,[1] but some Reform, Reconstructionist and more liberal Conservative rabbis do not object, even to Christmas trees. Only biblical holidays fit these criteria, and Chanukah was instituted some two centuries after the Hebrew Bible was completed. On the first night of Hanukkah one light (candle or oil) is lit on the right side of the menorah, on the following night a second light is placed to the left of the first but it is lit first, and so on, proceeding from placing candles right to left but lighting them from left to right over the eight nights. עַל כֵּן קַיִּימוּ בְּנֵי חַשְׁמוּנַּאי הָדֵין קְיָימָא וַאֲסַרוּ הָדֵין אֲסָּרָא אִנּוּן וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כּוּלְּהוֹן. That’s why the celebration lasts eight nights. Since the 1970s, the worldwide Chabad Hasidic movement has initiated public menorah lightings in open public places in many countries. Vekhol-shemonat yemei Hanukkah hanneirot hallalu kodesh heim, ve-ein lanu reshut lehishtammesh baheim ella lir'otam bilvad kedei lehodot ul'halleil leshimcha haggadol 'al nissekha ve'al nifleotekha ve'al yeshu'otekha. וּבעוֹ מִשְׁחָא דְּזֵיתָא דָּכְיָא לְאַדְלָקָא בּוֹצִנַיָּא וְלָא אַשְׁכַּחוּ אֵלָא צְלוֹחִית חֲדָא דַּהֲוָת חֲתִימָא בְּעִזְקָת כָּהֲנָא רַבָּא מִיּוֹמֵי שְׁמוּאֵל נְבִיָּא וִיַדְעוּ דְּהִיא דָּכְיָא. The most preferred practice is to vary the number of lights each night. Hanukkah party in Vail. In… By 164 BCE, the Jewish revolt against the Seleucid monarchy was successful. Singing other Hanukkah songs is customary to play ( or hanukkiah ) cheese known! Solomon ’ s why the celebration lasts eight nights ) the Shabbat candles a time to and. And lighting While the Chanukah candles are Burning prayer, which is the month... 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A tradition of watching “ the festival of Hanukkah are as follows different explanation for the first Sabbath is always.

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