The Story of
Anyone who has ever lit Chanukah candles with family or
attended a Sunday school may be familiar with the story of Chanukah.
It celebrates the victory of the Jews over the Assyrians who had
Here is the back story:
In the second century before the Common Era, there was a blending of
Hebrew and Greek culture in the
Antiochus IV took the throne in
What is the source of the story of the Maccabean revolt?
Interestingly enough – the Book of Maccabees is in New Testament and not the Jewish Bible.
The story of the miraculous oil is from a different source completely.
It is from the Talmud. There
was even Talmudic discussion if we were to light the candles from one going up
to eight over the successive nights of Chanukah (Hillel’s position), or eight
down to one (Shammai’s). Hillel
We celebrate Chanukah on the 25th Day of the Hebrew Month of Kislev. It is a time for families to get together and eat food cooked in oil, such as latkes (the European tradition), or jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot – the Israeli tradition). The children play with a four-sided spinning top called a dreidl. The Hebrew letters on the dreidl are Nun, Gimmel, Shin, and Daled - an abbreviation for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham -- Hebrew for "A Great Miracle Happened There." We exchange gifts and, in synagogues, sing songs of praise to God. By the way, the correct name for the candelabrum that we use for this holiday is chanukiah, not menorah. A chanukiah holds 9 candles and a menorah only 7.