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Happy Hanukkah

IndigoChild5559

Loving God and my neighbor as myself.
Hannukah begins Thursday at sundown, which here is in just an hour or so. Chag Sameach to all my Jewish friends, and to any non-Jews who plan to join in our celebration.

The word Hanukkah, also spelled Chanukah, means dedication and refers to the dedication of the temple. Here is the historical background.

When Alexander the Great did his conquering, one of the countries he took was Judea, the Kingdom of the Jews in the Levant. When his empire was split into three, Judea was occupied by the Seleucid Greeks. They pursued a policy of Hellenization, meaning that they forced Greek culture on all the peoples they conquered. This meant that in Judea, many things were done that are contrary to Judaism. Sports were done in the nude. It was forbidden to study Torah. Men were encouraged to reverse their circumcision. Etc.

This all came to a head when the Greeks actually sacrificed a pig (which Jews consider unclean) to the god Zeus in the Jewish temple, thus desecrating it. So under the leadership of Judah Maccabee, the Jews revolted.

In my opinion the real miracle of Hanukkah is that this teeny tiny nation of Jews was able to kick Greek butt. They drove out the Greeks.

You can read about this in the non-canonical historical texts of 1 and 2 Maccabees.

Now the temple, which had been desecrated, needed to be cleansed. This required, among other things, olive oil for the menorahs (candelabras). It takes eight days to make new oil, but there was only oil enough to last for one day. As the story goes, this oil miraculously lasted for eight days until new oil was made. This is why Chanukah lasts for eight days. You can find the story of the miracle of Chanukah in the Talmud, tractate Shabbat 21b.

So now, today, the main way we celebrate Chanukah is to light a menorah. We use a special candle in the middle to light the others, one candle for the first night, two for the second night, etc. The menorah is placed in the window.

There are also other lovely customs. Children enjoy playing a gambling game with a spinning top called a dreidel. Traditional foods are made, especially latkes (potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts). Children get gifts each day, usually money, and enjoy "Chanukah Gelt" which are chocolate coins.
 
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YoursTrue

Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)
Hannukah begins Thursday at sundown, which here is in just an hour or so. Chag Sameach to all my Jewish friends, and to any non-Jews who plan to join in our celebration.
Just looking at what the term Hannukah means. From what I understand, it means dedication. I have to do a little more study about the history.
 

IndigoChild5559

Loving God and my neighbor as myself.
Just looking at what the term Hannukah means. From what I understand, it means dedication. I have to do a little more study about the history.
Yes, indeed, it means dedication. In fact, the gospel of John 10:22 refers to this feast of dedication.

The background being the Maccabean war is found in the Maccabees, which are not actually canonical but are good for Jewish history. The story of the miracle of the oil is from the talmud, Shabbat 21b I believe.

To me, the TRUE miracle of Chanukah is that a teeny tiny state of Judea kicked mgihty Greek butt.
 

metis

aged ecumenical anthropologist
Happy Hanukkah, and our extended family is celebrating it tomorrow night over dinner.
 

Eddi

Panentheist and Psychedelic Cat
Premium Member
What exactly is Hannukah?

What do people do on it?
 

IndigoChild5559

Loving God and my neighbor as myself.
What exactly is Hannukah?

What do people do on it?
I'm sure you are not the only one wondering, so I will answer both here, and also add this text to the Opening Post.

The word Hanukkah, also spelled Chanukah, means dedication and refers to the dedication of the temple. Here is the historical background.

When Alexander the Great did his conquering, one of the countries he took was Judea, the Kingdom of the Jews in the Levant. When his empire was split into three, Judea was occupied by the Seleucid Greeks. They pursued a policy of Hellenization, meaning that they forced Greek culture on all the peoples they conquered. This meant that in Judea, many things were done that are contrary to Judaism. Sports were done in the nude. It was forbidden to study Torah. Men were encouraged to reverse their circumcision. Etc.

This all came to a head when the Greeks actually sacrificed a pig (which Jews consider unclean) to the god Zeus in the Jewish temple, thus desecrating it. So under the leadership of Judah Maccabee, the Jews revolted.

In my opinion the real miracle of Hanukkah is that this teeny tiny nation of Jews was able to kick Greek butt. They drove out the Greeks.

You can read about this in the non-canonical historical texts of 1 and 2 Maccabees.

Now the temple, which had been desecrated, needed to be cleansed. This required, among other things, olive oil for the menorahs (candelabras). It takes eight days to make new oil, but there was only oil enough to last for one day. As the story goes, this oil miraculously lasted for eight days until new oil was made. This is why Chanukah lasts for eight days. You can find the story of the miracle of Chanukah in the Talmud, tractate Shabbat 21b.

So now, today, the main way we celebrate Chanukah is to light a menorah. We use a special candle in the middle to light the others, one candle for the first night, two for the second night, etc. The menorah is placed in the window.

There are also other lovely customs. Children enjoy playing a gambling game with a spinning top called a dreidel. Traditional foods are made, especially latkes (potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts). Children get gifts each day, usually money, and enjoy "Chanukah Gelt" which are chocolate coins.
 
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Eddi

Panentheist and Psychedelic Cat
Premium Member
I'm sure you are not the only one wondering, so I will answer both here, and also add this text to the Opening Post.

The word Hanukkah, also spelled Chanukah, means dedication and refers to the dedication of the temple. Here is the historical background.

When Alexander the Great did his conquering, one of the countries he took was Judea, the Kingdom of the Jews in the Levant. When his empire was split into three, Judea was occupied by the Seleucid Greeks. They pursued a policy of Hellenization, meaning that they forced Greek culture on all the peoples they conquered. This meant that in Judea, many things were done that is contrary to Judaism. Sports were done in the nude. It was forbidden to study Torah. Men were encouraged to reverse their circumcision. Etc.

This all came to a head when the Greeks actually sacrificed a pig (which Jews consider unclean) to the god Zeus in the Jewish temple, thus desecrating it. So under the leadership of Judah Maccabee, the Jews revolted.

In my opinion the real miracle of Hanukkah is that this teeny tiny nation of Jews was able to kick Greek butt. They drove out the Greeks.

You can read about this in the non-canonical historical texts of 1 and 2 Maccabees.

Now the temple, which had been desecrated, needed to be cleansed. This required, among other things, olive oil for the menorahs (candelabras). It takes eight days to make new oil, but there was only oil enough to last for one day. As the story goes, this oil miraculously lasted for eight days until new oil was made. This is why Chanukah lasts for eight days. You can find the story of the miracle of Chanukah in the Talmud, tractate Shabbat 21b.

So now, today, the main way we celebrate Chanukah is to light a menorah. We use a special candle in the middle to light the others, one candle for the first night, two for the second night, etc. The menorah is placed in the window.

There are also other lovely customs. Children enjoy playing a gambling game with a spinning top called a dreidel. Traditional foods are made, especially latkes (potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce) and sifganiyot (jelly donuts). Children get gifts each day, usually money, and enjoy "Chanukah Gelt" which are chocolate coins.
Interesting, I didn't know any of that thanks for sharing

Those foods sound really nice!
 

Quintessence

Consults with Trees
Staff member
Premium Member
I grew up with all this as a kid - good times, good times. I don't celebrate, but elements of cultural Jewishness have made their way into my own religious practices. Like latkes. Never pass up an excuse to make latkes with a side of applesauce.
 
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