What Is Hanukkah?

Christmas is far from being the only amazing holiday that occurs at this time of year! While Christians are celebrating Christmas, our Jewish friends are preparing for Hanukkah (or Chanukah), an 8-day festival of lights that began today (December 24) at sundown.

I love the story of Hanukkah! Rather than telling it myself (and probably messing up the story), I’ve included the History channel’s video instead. However, the part that captures my imagination is the Story of the Miracle.

According to tradition, after the Maccabees recaptured the Jewish temple from the Greeks, they needed to purify the temple by burning holy oil for 8 days. However, they only had enough oil for one day. After they lit the menorah, God performed a miracle by causing the oil to last all 8 days! To this day, Jews celebrate Hanukkah by lighting candles of the menorah until all 8 candles are lit at the end of the holiday.

Hanukkah reminds us that God is a God of miracles. When our resources fall short, God is able to do what we cannot do. God brings light to our darkness and victory in the face of overwhelming odds. These are lessons that all of us, Jewish and non-Jewish, can embrace during this wonderful holiday!


Photo by Scazon