Chanukah At A Glance
• MG ME From sundown Friday, Dec. 19, until
sundown Friday, Dec. 27. On the Jewish calendar,
Chanukah begins on the 25th of Kislev.
• V,My\aTaga-iagc,'R Chanukah marks the vic-
tory of the Jews, led by members of the priestly
Hasmonean family (especially Judah Maccabee),
over the Greco-Syrians (Seleucids) in 164 B.C.E.
The Seleucids repressed the practice of Judaism
and converted the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem into a
house of pagan worship. The Hasmoneans restored
the Temple and its altar. Chanukah is the Hebrew
word for "dedication," and comes from the phrase,
chanukat ha-mizbayach, "dedication of the altar."
Kindle lights (oil is prefer-
able, but most people use candles) in a special lamp
called a menorah or a chanukia.
Kindle lights progressively each night: one light
the first night, two the second, and so on.
Because this year Chanukah begins on Friday
night, light the candles on the menorah before kin-
dling those for Shabbat. The Chanukah light must
be sufficient to burn 30 minutes into Shabbat; if
your Chanukah candles are not long enough, try
using Shabbat candles.
• aEgGg And Regiulatio s. Chanukah lights do
not have to be in a menorah, and it is permissible to
light them in individual holders that are lined up.
It is preferable to place the menorah in a window
facing the street for the sake of pirsumey nisah
("publicize the miracle"), but the menorah
also may be within the home where it can
be observed by all members of the house-
Except on Shabbat, Chanukah lights must be
lit after sundown only. The lights may not be used
for anything other than display. You should not read
by them, light cigarettes with them or use them in
any other way.
Unlike the major Jewish holidays, Chanukah is
not considered sacred time and thus has no
restrictions on the use of electricity, vehicles,
handling money, etc.
• Eagg38 A blessing is recited before lighting,
and a prayer after lighting (they can be found in
most Jewish prayer books).
Daily prayers include Al ha-Nisim in the Amidah
(silent, standing prayer) and in Birkat Ha-Mazon
(grace after meals); the full Hallel prayer is recited
In the synagogue, there is a special Torah reading
for each day (Numbers 7-8:4); four persons are
Chanukah straddles two Jewish months, Kislev
and Tevet. The sixth day is also Rosh Chodesh Tevet
(the first day of Tevet) and includes an additional
On Shabbat, the weekly Torah portion is read
with the Chanukah maftir. A special Haftorah for
Chanukah is read (Zechariah 2:14-4:7).
• @mtoms A d radit4o
We sing the hymn,
"Maoz Tzur"(found in prayer books with the
Chanukah ritual). Some people also recite or sing
Psalm 30. Women do not work while the Chanukah
lights are burning.
We eat potato pancakes (latkes) fried in oil (olive
and canola are the healthiest). Israelis (and many
Americans) eat jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot).
Children play dreidel, a spinning top inscribed
with a Hebrew letter on each of four sides. The
game is played for chocolate coins, candy or nuts.
Each player takes a turn at spinning. Depending
on which Hebrew letter turns up when the dreidel
stops, the player either gets or gives to the pot.
In recent times, some Jews have copied the
Christmas tradition of giving gifts on Chanukah.
• Eves Associated VNAM anti aka The
story of Judith, and also the story of Hannah and
her seven sons. Judith is found in the Book of Judith;
Hannah comes from the Secoild Book Maccabees.
Although neither is part of the Jewish Bible, they
are of Jewish origin and widely known. II
Are You Puzzled?
Eight Dreidels For Eight Nights
Here are eight dreidels, but only two are exact matches. Can you find them?
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