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(Chanukah)December 24, 2016
Hanukkah means “dedication” or “consecration”, and is also called “The festival of lights.” This is a Jewish festivity that lasts eight days starting on the 25th day of Kislev which normally occurs late November or early December.
This holiday marks the defeat of a large Syrian army by a small group of Jews and the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC. It is a story about of a people overcoming terrible odds and maintaining a communal identity is spite of widespread and even forced assimilation.
After they defeated Syrian King Antiochus' huge army in 165 BC, the Jewish Maccabees returned to the ransacked Temple in Jerusalem, hoping to rekindle the eternal lights that stood as symbols of their enduring faith. Although only enough oil remained to last one night, the flame miraculously glowed for eight days and nights, allowing the Jews enough time to make the oil needed to keep the eternal lights aflame. The celebration of Hanukkah commemorates this event.
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