Happy Hanukkah!

Posted by crm28 at Dec 11, 2017 05:10 PM |
Tuesday 12 December marks the start of Hanukkah, an important 8 day Jewish festival.
Happy Hanukkah!

A Menorah

From Tuesday 12 - Wednesday 20 December, Jewish people will celebrate Hanukkah or Chanukah. During Hanukkah, Jews celebrate the reconsecration of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. During the second century BC, the Holy Lands were ruled by Seleucids (Syrian – Greeks) who forced Israelites to accept Greek beliefs instead of Judaism.

Against all odds, in 139 BC, a comparatively small group of Jews led by Judah the Maccabee defeated the Seleucids and reclaimed the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. Upon entering the temple, Judah and his men found that there was only enough oil in the temple’s menorah to last for one day, yet miraculously, the menorah burned for eight days.

To commemorate Hanukkah, a Menorah is lit in every Jewish household. The Menorah holds nine flames, one of which is called the shamash (attendant) and all the other flames are lit from this one. Just one flame is lit on the first night of Hanukkah and another candle is lit on each night of the festival.

Special prayers are recited for the lighting of each candle and it is traditional for Jewish people to eat specially created foods, such as latke (potato pancake), which are fried in oil as oil was involved in the Hanukkah miracle. Playing with the dreidel, a four-sided spinning top inscribed with Hebrew symbols, is also a traditional Hanukkah pastime as is giving gifts or ‘gelt’.

In Leicester, you will see an enormous menorah on Victoria Park the corner of London Road and Victoria Park Road for the duration of Hanukkah.

Happy Hanukkah to all!

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