is also known as the festival of lights. It is the story of standing up
for what you believe in. It reminds us not to remain silent in the face
of oppression, and not to surrender our rights and identities.
This holiday lasts for 8 days. It serves as a memory to the end of the Greek
rule over a Temple in Jerusalem. It's a victory of religious freedom. For each
of the 8 days we light a candle on the menorah, that brings a sense of
"hope" into our homes.
The Menorah has 9 candle holders. Eight for the eight days & one for the
shamash (the helper) which stands taller than the others and off to the side.
When we light the candles we also recite the blessings...
Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid-shanu bâ
mitzvotav, ve-tsivanu le-hadlik nair shel Hannukah.
Blessed are You, Adonai, our God and Ruler of the World, Who hallows us with
mitzvot and commands us to light the lights of Hannukah
Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olim, she-asa nisim la-avotainu
bayamim hahem bazman haze.
Blessed are You, Adonai, our God and Ruler of the World, Who performed
miracles for our ancestors in ancient times, at this season.
On the first night of Hannukah we add the 'Shehechiyanu' prayer, which
expresses appreciation at reaching this occasion once again.
Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, shehechiyanu vâe kimanu
v'higianu lazman hazeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God and Ruler of the World, for giving us life, for
sustaining us and for enabling us to reach this season.
The traditional miracle of this holiday is when the Maccabees, the victorious
Jewish army rededicated the temple in Jerusalem, they only found enough oil to
light the Eternal Light for one day. The oil lasted 8 days, and it was at this
time only when they found more oil. During this holiday we eat foods cooked in
oil such as Potato Latkas & Sufganiyot.
To learn more about Hannukah and its background, visit these links:
Beverley is a very busy Florida Mom of two young boys. She very kindly wrote
this article for me and even provided the links.