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Hanukkah

What you might not know about the best known Jewish holiday in America.

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Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew

  • The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago.
  • After years of suffering oppression and religious persecution at the hands of Syrian Greeks, the Jews (the Macabees) took back their Temple.
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“Festival of Lights”

  • According to the story, that night they had one pot of oil thought to only last 1 day, but somehow it lasted 8, leaving them enough time to find more oil.
  • In modern times, the miracle is celebrated by lighting the menorah for eight nights and eating foods cooked in oil, like jelly doughnuts & latkes (potato pancakes).
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Hanukkah Today

  • Hanukkah, a relatively minor Jewish holiday compared to others, like Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is widely celebrated by Jewish people of all denominations across the globe.
  • Hanukkah has expanded its empire in recent years beyond menorahs and dreidels to include Hanukkah bushes (x-mas trees), the Mensch on a Bench, and house kits (gingerbread houses).
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ONE MORE THING: How do you spell it? Depends who you ask, but the following are all acceptable English spellings of the holiday beginning Sunday at sundown: Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hanukah, Chanuka, & Chanukkah.

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