Saturday, December 8, 2012

Festival of Lights: Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah began tonight at sunset and will continue for eight days, ending December 16 at the setting of the sun. On the Hebrew calendar the dates would be 25 Kislev to 2 Tevet in the year 5773.

Each day a candle is lit by the shamash, located taller, lowest candle or to the side, (on the nine branch candelabrum commonly called a menorah (The candelabrum for Hanukkah is called a hanukkiah to distinguish itself from the seven-branch menorah used in the Temple and described in Exodus 25.) 

On the eighth day all eight candles be burning. 

Hanukkah is also referred to as Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanuka, Festival of Lights and Festival of Dedication.

"We light 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 holy priests. During all eight days of Hanukkah these lights are sacred, and we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them except for to look at them in order to express thanks and praise to Your great Name for Your miracles, Your wonders and Your salvations."

Hanukkah also referred to as Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. 

The Maccabees successfully rebelled against Antiochus IV Epiphanes. According to the Talmud, a late text, the Temple was purified and the wicks of the menorah miraculously burned for eight days, even though there was only enough sacred oil for one day's lighting.

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"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 the days of the Hasmonean Mattathias, son of Johanan the high priest, and his sons, when the iniquitous Greco-Syrian kingdom rose up against Your people Israel, to make them forget Your Torah and to turn them away from the ordinances of Your will, then You in your abundant mercy rose up for them in the time of their trouble, pled their cause, executed judgment, avenged their wrong, and delivered the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and insolent ones into the hands of those occupied with Your Torah. 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. 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." ~~ Translation of Al ha-Nissim

May the warmth and glow of each candle bring you peace...
May your heart and home be filled with blessings...
May we all re-dedicate our life to meaning of this season...

Happy Hanukkah

This post is not intended to give the full meaning of Hanukkah. All information in this post was gathered from the resources listed below. If there are errors in this post concerning Hanukkah I do apologize.




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