Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Chanukah Or Hanukkah!

Sundown today begins the eight day celebration of the Jewish holiday, Chanukah.

I went to Catholic school for 12 years and in those days the Catholics were not about to give any press to any other religion or their holidays. You could watch Rudolph, Santa, and a Charlie Brown Christmas, but there were no TV shows about other religions holidays.
The only thing I knew about Chanukah for many years is Jewish kids got presents for eight days; in comparison, Christmas seemed like a rip off, I got presents for only one day! But, like the Christmas story, there's a lot more to the holiday of Hanukkah and what it represents. From the mezuzah store I found this brief description of the meaning of Hannukah:

...We light the Menorah to remember the Miracle that happened when the Jewish rebels (the Macabees) took back the Holy Temple from their conquerors. The enemy had done everything that they could to defile the Temple, including bringing idols into the Temple.

The Macabees cleaned and restored the Temple service. They had only one small flask of the special olive oil that was used to light the large golden Menorah in the Temple. Miraculously, the small flask lasted for 8 days.

The Rabbis made this 8 day period into a holiday, now known as Hanukkah. They decreed that it would be celebrated by lighting an 8 branched Menorah, and increasing its lights each day to commemorate how the miracle became greater with each day that the oil continued to burn...

So, to all my Jewish friends, I wish you a very happy Chanukah, filled with love, light, meaning, fun and good food, that's a holiday!