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Chanukah

CHANUKAH

CHANUKAH, the Festival of Lights, celebrates Jewish religion and culture, candlelight symbolizing the beauty and warmth of Judaism. This minor holiday begins on the 25th day of the month of Kislev in the Jewish calendar, usually occurring in late December.

The festival marks the triumph of Judas Maccabeus over Greek ruler Antiochus IV and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 b.c. According to legend, in the Temple a lamp held enough oil for one day but burned for eight. This miracle is recalled by the eight-armed menorah, a candelabra, which also has an additional arm for a kindling light.

Chanukah is a family feast. For eight days, Jews recite blessings and read from the Torah. They light the menorah after dusk, lighting the first candle on the right, then kindling an additional candle, moving from left to right each evening. Special holiday foods include cheese delicacies and latkes, potato pancakes. In the evenings family members may play games with a dreidl, a spinning top, for Chanukah gelt (chocolate coins).

In the United States the celebration of Chanukah has been increasingly commercialized. However, the marketing of Chanukah has not reached the levels associated with Christmas, a Christian holiday thoroughly exploited by retailers, due probably to the relatively small Jewish population and the tradition of giving only small gifts each night of the festival.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Schauss, Hayyim. The Jewish Festivals: A Guide to Their History and Observance. New York: Schocken, 1996.

Trepp, Leo. The Complete Book of Jewish Observance. New York: Summit, 1980.

Regina M.Faden

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ḥanukkah

Ḥanukkah (Heb., ‘Dedication’). Jewish Festival of Lights. Ḥanukkah begins on 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. According to 1 Maccabees 4. 36–59, Judas Maccabee purified the Temple after the Hellenistic desecration and rededicated it on 25 Kislev. Celebrations lasted for eight days. The story of one day's supply of the holy oil miraculously lasting eight days is legendary and dates back to the days of the tannaim. After the lamp is lit, a short prayer beginning, ‘Ha-nerot hallalu’ (These lamps) is recited. A short summary of the Ḥanukkah story is included in the Amida and during the course of grace after meals. Card-playing is traditionally associated with the festival, as is spinning the dreidel (spinning-top). The Ḥanukkah lamp or menorah is a prominent ritual object in every Jewish household, and has become a vehicle for the display of artistic craftsmanship.

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Hanukkah

Hanukkah (khä´nəkə, –nŏŏkä), in Judaism, the Festival of Lights, the Feast of Consecration, or the Feast of the Maccabees; also transliterated Chanukah. According to tradition, it was instituted by Judas Maccabeus and his brothers in 165 BC to celebrate the dedication of the new altar in the Temple at Jerusalem. The festival occurs in December near the time of the winter solstice, as does Christmas, and lasts eight days. Hanukkah later came to be linked also with a miraculous cruse of oil that burned for eight days, leading to the practice of lighting special Hanukkah candles, one the first evening, two the second, and so on. The eight-branched candlestand (menorah) used in that ceremony is a frequent symbol for the holiday.

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Hanukkah

Ha·nuk·kah / ˈkhänəkə; ˈhänəkə/ (also Cha·nu·kah) • n. a lesser Jewish festival, lasting eight days from the 25th day of Kislev (in December) and commemorating the rededication of the Temple in 165 bc by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians. It is marked by the successive kindling of eight lights.

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Hanukkah

Hanukkah a lesser Jewish festival, lasting eight days from the 25th day of Kislev (in December) and commemorating the rededication of the Temple in 165 bc by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians. It is marked by the successive kindling of eight lights.

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Hanukkah

Hanukkah (Chanukah or Feast of Lights) Eight-day festival celebrated in Judaism. It commemorates the re-dedication of the Jerusalem Temple in 165 bc, and the miracle of a one-day supply of oil lasting for eight days.

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Chanukah

Cha·nu·kah • n. variant spelling of Hanukkah.

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Chanukah

Chanukah: see Hanukkah.

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Hanukkah

Hanukkahbazooka, euchre, farruca, lucre, palooka, pooka, rebuker, snooker, Stuka, verruca •babushka •booker, cooker, hookah, hooker, looker, Sukkur •Junker • onlooker • yarmulke •Hanukkah • manuka •chukka (US chukker), ducker, felucca, fucker, mucker, plucker, pucker, pukka, shucker, succour (US succor), sucker, trucker, tucker, yucca •skulker, sulker •bunker, hunker, lunker, punkah, spelunker •busker, tusker •latke • motherfucker • bloodsucker •seersucker • abaca • stomacher •Linacre, spinnaker •massacre •Jataka, Karnataka •Tripitaka • Ithaca •burka, circa, Gurkha, jerker, lurker, mazurka, shirker, smirker, worker •tearjerker • craftworker •metalworker • networker •caseworker • fieldworker •teleworker • shopworker • outworker •homeworker • stoneworker •woodworker

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