Hanukkah – A Season of Miracles and Light 🕊️
Hanukkah is one of the most joyous festivals of the Jewish calendar. The festival begins on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. Hanukkah 2023 begins at sundown this evening, December 7th, and concludes at sundown on December 15th.
Hanukkah is a celebration of victory over the battle of oppression and commemorates rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century BCE. It is also known as “The Celebration of Lights”. When the new temple was built, the lampstand had enough oil for one day but miraculously remained illuminated for 8 days. Today, a candelabrum known as a menorah, was designed to symbolize that miracle and the 8 days. The word menorah means “lamp”. The center candle (the shamash) is used to light each of 8 candles for eight consecutive nights with the reciting of prayers. 🕎🙏🏼
Gifts are often given at Hanukkah, especially to children. One custom is to give out Hanukkah gelt, or money, to children. This is to teach them that there is reward for studying the Bible — even under difficult situations. Today, chocolate coins or gifts are given instead, but the underlying Judaic lesson is that Torah study is an important and worthwhile pursuit.
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