Posted tagged ‘Hanukkah’

Hannukah in Utah

December 5, 2021

menorah1According to, more than twenty-one centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to forcefully convert the people of Israel to Greek customs and religion.   Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the holy temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to God.   When they sought to light the Temple’s menorah, they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks; miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.   Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates this miracle.   Although Hanukkah is probably the best known Jewish holiday because of its proximity to Christmas, it is actually a lesser holiday on the Jewish religious calendar.   Still, many non-Jews (and retailers hoping to harvest some profits from Jews during the season) think of it as the Jewish Christmas.  This article from Yahoo! Lifestyle explains why it’s not.


Hanukkah and Tzedakah

December 21, 2011

Last night, we lit the first candle in the Hanukkah Menorah.   We said the blessing … Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvotav, vitzivanu, lehadlik ner shel HanukkahBlessed are You, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.   Legend has it that at the time of the rededication of the Temple, there was very little oil left for the menorah, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah.   Hence, foods cooked in oil are traditional for Hanukkah, particularly latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyah (jelly doughnuts).   We skipped the latkes this year and our jelly doughnuts came from Dunkin’ Donuts.  We are in Arizona, after all.   Later in the week, when we’re with our grandkids, we’ll hide Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil) and maybe play dreidal.  While our daughter and family are LDS, they like their kids to know about our traditions. (more…)

Friday Favorites 12/16/2011

December 16, 2011

Our First Hanukkiyah

When Muri and I got married, we agreed to celebrate both holidays of our childhoods … mine, Christmas … and Muri’s, Hanukkah.   When our first December together rolled around, we bought our first tree, along with lights and ornaments.  We also bought our first Menorah (also known, by the way, as a Hanukkiyah). The Hanukkiyah is a nine branched candelabrum which is lighted during the eight days of Hanukkah to commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE.   One candle, the shamash, distinguished from the others by position or height, is lighted first and used to light all others.  On the first night, one additional candle is lighted in the right most position on the Hanukkiyah and on each successive night, one more is added … and lighted … right to left. (more…)