Basic Facts of Hanukkah
NAME: Hanukkah, which means ‘Dedication’, ‘Establishing’, or ‘Consecration’ in Hebrew.
HEBREW NAME: חֲנֻכָּה or חנוכה.
TITLE: Festival of Lights, Festival of Dedication.
DEFINITION: An eight-day Jewish Holiday celebrated every year during the winter.
HOLIDAY: A joyous, family-centered Jewish religious festival pre-dating Christianity by nearly 200 years.
RELIGION: Ancient Holiday of Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism.
FOUNDER: Judas Maccabaeus and his fellow Maccabee brothers.
RECOGNITION: A perpetual, yearly celebration marking the retaking, purification, and rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem by the rebel Jewish forces of the Maccabees after defeating the Pagan Greek military occupation.
ORIGIN: First established and celebrated in Jerusalem on the 25th of Kislev, 165 BC.
DATES: Always begins on the 25th of Kislev and ends on the 2nd or 3rd of Tevet (Hebrew Calendar).
DURATION: Lasts for eight days with an additional candle being lit after sunset for each passing day.
LONGETIVITY: Annually observed by Jews from around the world for the past 2,175 years.
TRADITIONS: Ritual candle lighting, religious singing, specific prayers, gifts of money and games.
MEANING: Sometimes religious freedom must be defended by violent, armed revolution.
MIRACLE: When it came time to light the Temple Menorah, there was only enough holy oil left for a single day, yet somehow God was able to cause the oil to last and burn for a miraculous eight entire days.
WORDS: Hallel, Al-ha-Nissim, Hanukkah addition (Prayers), Brachot (Blessing), Ma’oz Tzur, Hanerot Halalu (Hymns), and Psalms 30, 67, 91, Numbers 6:22 through 8:4, Zechariah 2:14-4:7, I Kings 7:40-50 (Readings).
SIGNIFICANCE: Represents one of the most miraculous, statistically impossible, and highly implausible series of military victories in the history of the world.
BIBLE: Book ot the Maccabees I (4:36-59), Book of the Maccabees II (10:1-8)
TALMUD: The Babylonian Talmud, Sabbath 21-24a, 45a, and 118, Sotah 41a, Gittin 57b,
REFERENCE: 1) Antiquities of the Jews, Book XII, Ch. 5-11, by Flavius Josephus, 2) The Scroll of Antiochus, (Megillat Antiochus), 3) The Gospel of John, mentioned in John 10:22
May the LORD God bless you in the name of St. Judas Maccabaeus
Jason Nicholas Korning
SOURCE: Hanukkah, Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah)