19 Facts About Hanukkah


Hanukkah, known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE.

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Nevertheless, Hanukkah has attained major cultural significance in North America and elsewhere, especially among secular Jews, due to often occurring around the same time as Christmas during the holiday season.

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The spelling Hanukkah, which is based on using characters of the English alphabet as symbols to re-create the word's correct spelling in Hebrew, is the most common and the preferred choice of Merriam–Webster, Collins English Dictionary, the Oxford Style Manual, and the style guides of The New York Times and The Guardian.

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Story of Hanukkah is preserved in the books of the First and Second Maccabees, which describe in detail the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem and the lighting of the menorah.

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Hanukkah spoiled the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months.

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Hanukkah banned brit milah and ordered pigs to be sacrificed at the altar of the temple.

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Lighting the lamps during the eight days of Hanukkah is a religious duty imposed by the sages.

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However, given the famous question Rabbi Yosef Karo posed concerning why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days when the miracle was only for seven days, it was clear that he believed it was a historical event.

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Hanukkah is celebrated with a series of rituals that are performed every day throughout the eight-day holiday, some are family-based and others communal.

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Hanukkah is not a "Sabbath-like" holiday, and there is no obligation to refrain from activities that are forbidden on the Sabbath, as specified in the Shulkhan Arukh.

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Inexpensive small wax candles sold for Hanukkah burn for approximately half an hour so should be lit no earlier than nightfall.

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Therefore, the Hanukkah menorah is lit first with larger candles than usual, followed by the Shabbat candles.

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Hanukkah menorah is kindled daily in the synagogue, at night with the blessings and in the morning without the blessings.

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Some Hasidic scholars teach that the Hanukkah is in fact the final conclusion of God's judgement extending High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana when humanity is judged and Yom Kippur when the judgment is sealed:.

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Hanukkah went back to his tent with him, where she plied him with cheese and wine.

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In 2009 a Hanukkah stamp was issued with a design featured a photograph of a menorah with nine lit candles.

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Hanukkah begins at the 25th day of Kislev and concludes on the second or third day of Tevet .

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In North America, Hanukkah became increasingly important to many Jewish individuals and families during the latter part of the 20th century, including a large number of secular Jews, who wanted to celebrate a Jewish alternative to the Christmas celebrations which frequently overlap with Hanukkah.

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Today, the presence of Hanukkah bushes is generally discouraged by most rabbis, but some Reform, Reconstructionist and more liberal Conservative rabbis do not object, they do not object to the presence of Christmas trees.

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