Hanukkah 2021: What is the Jewish festival of lights & why it is celebrated.. Hanukkah, based on the Hebrew word for ‘dedication’, marks the recovery of Jerusalem and the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem
People across the world are celebrating the much-loved Jewish holiday Hanukkah, which began yesterday, 28 November.
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah, based on the Hebrew word for “dedication”, is also known as the Festival of Lights. It is celebrated across the world by the Jewish people for eight days, with many considering it the most-beloved Jewish holiday. The festival marks the recovery of Jerusalem and the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
The eight-day festival is celebrated in the United States as well and is a recognised holiday at the White House. The President of the United States celebrates Hanukkah by hosting annual Menorah lightings and parties.
Celebrations this year:
This year, Hanukkah celebration started on 28 November and will culminate on Monday, 6 December. The date of Hanukkah is determined by the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. The date of the celebration is based on the lunar cycle. The first day of the festival of light can befall anywhere from late November to December on the Gregorian calendar as per the Jewish calendar.
Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Torah, unlike other Jewish holidays. The first five books of the Hebrew Bible are included in the Torah. The festival’s story is mentioned is in the post-biblical Books of the Maccabees.
The festival of lights commemorates the victory of the Maccabees, a small army of Jewish people which fought against the army of King Antiochus IV of Syria.
And against all odds, they succeeded…and one of the signs of success is when they were able to capture Jerusalem and return the temple in Jerusalem…Hanukkah, as a Hebrew word, that literally means dedication.
When they tried to celebrate, they noticed their temple–or synagogue, where Jewish people worship was badly damaged.
They re-dedicated it, in fact-Hanukkah means re-dedication. They wanted to light their menorah to symbolize God’s presence and only had enough to last one night. By a miracle, it lasted eight.
That was supposed to last only for one day, lasted for eight days. and so to this day, Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days.
The festival is marked by lighting one candle on the menorah (multibranched candelabra) on each night of the festival. A new candle is put in the menorah every night and lit from newest to oldest, with blessings being offered while each candle is lit.
Hanukkah sameach ( happy Hanukkah)..
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