Hanukkah 2023: 8 Nights, 8 Candles, 1 Miracle You Won’t Believe ️

US & WORLD

Hanukkah, also called Chanukah, holds significant importance in the Jewish calendar and culture. This year, the celebration spans from the evening of December 7 to the evening of December 15.

The Meaning of Hanukkah

In Hebrew, Hanukkah translates to “dedication,” signifying the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem during the 2nd century BC. A small group of Jewish fighters liberated it from foreign occupation, marking the festival as a commemoration of the victory of light over darkness and spirituality over materiality.

The Rituals of Hanukkah

Hanukkah’s rituals center around the menorah, a multi-branched candelabrum. Each of the eight consecutive nights involves gathering with family and friends to light an additional candle in the menorah. This ritual symbolizes the triumph of light in darkness. They lit the menorah with a small supply of ritually pure oil found in the temple, and miraculously, it remained lit for eight days. The nightly candle lighting and the tradition of cooking foods in oil, such as latkes (potato pancakes), serve as a memorial to this enduring oil.

Hanukkah Around the World

Hanukkah is celebrated globally through various events. For instance, in Baltimore, the Jewish Community Center led events featuring menorah lighting. French President Emmanuel Macron even attended a ceremony at his Elysee palace to mark the start of Hanukkah.

Conclusion

Hanukkah is a time for families and communities to unite, celebrating the triumph of light over darkness. The festival underscores the transformative power of even a small, against-the-odds effort. As we enter the holiday season, let’s recall Hanukkah’s message and strive to bring light into our lives and the lives of those around us.

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