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Happy Hanukkah

Posted Jan 27 2009 6:24pm

To those my my readers who celebrate Hanukkah - I wanted to take today to wish you "Happy Hanukkah"!

While I admit that I do not know much about Hanukkah, I did find a few interesting facts about this holiday - and thought I would share! It was interesting to begin to learn more about this holiday - in fact, after reading that they celebrate with "fried foods" - I was beginning to think I might like to start celebrating this holiday, too!

Hanukkah is the eight-day festival of lights that begins on the eve of Kislev 25 - and celebrates the triump of light over darkness, or purity over adulteration, or spirituality over materiality. (Can I get an AMEN, sister?)

The name "Hanukkah" is interpreted in many ways. Some scholars say the word was derived from the Hebrew verb "חנך" meaning "to dedicate" or to "educate." On Hanukkah, the Jews mark the rededication of the House of the Lord.

On each night of Hanukkah, the menorah is lit to commemorate a miracle which occurred after the Jews proclaimed victory over the Syrian armies in 165 B.C.E. When Jews came to rededicate the Temple-which had been defiled by the Syrians-they found only one small flask of oil with which to light the menorah. This flask contained only enough oil for one day, yet the lamp burned for eight days (by which time a fresh supply of oil was obtained).

Hanukkah customs include eating foods fried in oil - latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (doughnuts); playing with the dreidel (a spinning top on which are inscribed the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hei and shin, an acronym for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, "a great miracle happened there"); and the giving of Chanukah gelt, gifts of money, to children.

If anyone else has more interesting facts or information about this holiday, please feel free to leave a comment and educate the rest of us! Blessings to you and your family!

And, don't forget to register for my holiday giveway - click here!
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