The Staff of the Stratford Crier would like to wish all of our Jewish friends a very Happy Hanukkah. Hanukkah Sameach to all.
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday which celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the larger Syrian army. The Hebrew word hanukkah means rededication. The hanukiah (or hanukkah menorah) is a candle holder, an important Hanukkah symbol.
The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. A tyrant king from Damascus had ruled over the Jews and forced them to worship Greek gods. Jewish rebels fought for their freedom for three years and, victorious, reclaimed the holy temple in Jerusalem. To rededicate the temple, they needed oil to light the menorah but they could only find enough to keep the flames burning for one night. And here’s the miracle: The oil lasted for eight days. In that time, they were able to make more oil and keep the eternal flame lit.
Hanukkah begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.