<ul><li>Over a thousand years ago, the foreign rulers of the Israelites decreed that the Jews bow down to the image of their leader, Antiochus, whose statue was erected in the Temple . But the Jewish people were forbidden by the law of God to bow to statues or idols . Inspired by Mattathias and led by his son, Judah, a small group of Jews called Maccabees rebelled . The Maccabees risked their lives to live according to Jewish law and to prevent this desecration of their sacred Temple. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Although the Maccabees won, the Temple in Jerusalem, the Jews’ holy place, was destroyed . The Jews had to clean and repair the Temple, and when they were finished they rededicated it to God by rekindling the menorah, the nine - branched candelabrum symbolizing the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people and the continuity of tradition through the generations . </li></ul>
<ul><li>But there was only enough olive oil to fuel the menorah for one night, and it would have taken eight days to make more oil . The legend of the miracle at Hanukkah says that the one day supply of oil burned for eight days and nights until more oil could be made. </li></ul>
Hanukkah celebration, anonymous painting from the 18th century
<ul><li>There are eight days of Hanukkah corresponding to the legend of the miracle of the oil in the Temple . Foods cooked in oil are traditional particularly potato pancakes, called latkes . Today, candles are used instead of oil . On each successive night, the number of candles lit increases by one . Prayers accompany the lighting of the candles. . </li></ul>
<ul><li>Hanukkah is celebrated in the home beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev . Even though it is not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, Hanukkah is widely celebrated . </li></ul>
<ul><li>It is traditional to give small gifts to children on each night of Hanukkah . The party atmosphere is enhanced with songs, games and toys such as a dreidel - a spinning top . Yet the religious celebration - the lighting of the candles with accompanying prayers - must come before the party. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Another tradition on Hanukkah is to play the dreidel game . A dreidel is a 4 sided top . The four letters which appear on the four corners of a dreidel allude to the miracle of Hanukkah . Taken one after the other they spell out : Nes ( miracle ) , Gadol ( great ) , Haya ( happened ) , Sham ( there, meaning in Israel) </li></ul><ul><li>add something </li></ul><ul><li>get everything </li></ul><ul><li>get half </li></ul><ul><li>nothing, pass </li></ul>
<ul><li>On the first night of Hanukkah, a single candle ( or oil wick ) is lit, on the far right side of the menorah . The candles are lit by a " shamash " or service candle, which after being used to light the other candles, takes its own special place on the menorah - usually in a place slightly set apart from the rest . </li></ul>
<ul><li>On each successive night an additional candle is added, from right to left ( two candles lit on the second night, three on the third ...) until finally, on the eighth night, all eight candles are lit . It is customary to light from left to right, with the newest candle lit first . Allow the candles to burn themselves out . </li></ul>
<ul><li>2 eggs 3 cups grated, drained potatoes 3 tablespoons grated onion 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons matzoh meal 1/2 cup fat or butter Drain the grated potatoes by squeezing in a clean towel .. straining well . Beat the eggs and add the potatoes, onion, salt, pepper and matzoh meal . Heat half the fat or butter in a frying pan and drop the potato mixture into it by tablespoon . Fry until browned on both sides . Serves 8 Serve with applesauce or sour cream . </li></ul><ul><li>* The Art of Jewish Cooking by Jennie Grossinger </li></ul>
<ul><li>Oh, Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah, Come light the menorah . Let's have a party, We'll all dance the hora . Gather round the table, We'll give you a treat . dreidels to play with, Latkes to eat . </li></ul><ul><li>And while we are playing The candles are burning low . One for each night, They shed a sweet light, To remind us of days long ago; They shed a sweet light, </li></ul><ul><li>To remind us of days long ago . </li></ul>
<ul><li>Hanukkah can be spelled in 17 different ways : Channuka, Channukah, Chanuka, Chanukah, Chanuko, Hannuka, Hannukah, Hanuka, Hanukah, Hanukkah, Kanukkah, Khannuka, Khannukah, Khanuka, Khanukah, and Khanukkah, and Chanuccah . </li></ul>
The photos and the stories are from the net. Dec-08 Hag Sameach !
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