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Yom Shabbat, 29 Heshvan 5778

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Chanukah is the story of a great victory of the Jews over the Syrian-Greeks. In 165 BCE, led by the Hasmonean family of Mattathias the High Priest and his youngest son, Judah, the Jews succeeded in evicting the Syrian-Greeks from Israel and restored the Temple.
According to the Talmud, after the Temple had been cleaned and the Priests were ready to light the Temple menorah, they could find only one jug of oil that was fit to use. This was only enough for one day, but it lasted for eight. This is why Chanukah is eight days long. For eight days beginning on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev we light the menorah to celebrate the victory and the miracle of Chanukah.
Chanukah comes from the Hebrew word "Chanu" meaning 'and they rested,' and from the Hebrew date Kaf Hey which equals 25. That is why we celebrate Chanukah beginning on the 25th of the month of Kislev.    


Miracle of the Oil
Why is it important that the oil lasted eight days?
In the temple, a menorah was lit every day. The oil used in the menorah was the purest olive oil. The rabbis say the oil was so pure, only the first drop of oil from each olive could be used. Because of the need for strict purity of the oil, it took seven days to make a single batch of oil.
The small jar of oil that had not been disturbed lasted for the one day it was expected to last and continued for the full week it took to make new oil

Judah Ha Maccabee
For three years Judah the Maccabee led his followers, those loyal to HaShem, against the Syrians. The Syrian Greeks had weapons, the Maccabees did not. The Jews were greatly outnumbered.
They hid in the Judean hills, and attacked whenever they could. Slowly but surely, they wore down the enemies, and retook Jerusalem and cleaned out the temple of the idols and restored it. That is the festival of rededication called Chanukah.

For more information about Chanukah click here.

Hanukkah begins in the evening of December 6th, 2015.

 

Chanukah, meaning dedication in Hebrew

in Hanukah
Chanukah, meaning "dedication" in Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Macabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and "re-dedication" of the Temple in Jerusalem.…

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