This past Saturday at sundown, Jewish families in central Arkansas and around the world began celebrating Hanukkah, the Celebration of Lights. The holiday will continue through Sunday December 16th.
Hanukkah, also sometimes spelled Chanukah, commemorates the 165 BCE rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after it had been destroyed by the Hellenistic Emperor Antiochus IV. When the rededication took place, there was only enough oil in hand to keep the Temple menorah burning for one day. According to Jewish tradition, the oil lasted for eight days and this was seen as a miracle by all people who witnessed it.
In honor of this event, the Festival of Lights is celebrated by Jewish families around the world. Each night another candle is lit in the hanukkiot (Hanukkah menorahs), culminating in the eighth day when all candles burn brightly.
Beliefnet.com, a source for “information and inspiration” for people of all faiths, has a wonderful set of articles from readers exploring how and why they celebrate Hanukkah and what each of the traditions mean to them both spiritually and personally. Whether you are currently celebrating the holiday, or you are wanting to know more about the history and current celebration, these articles will be of useful. Click here to read them.
Are you celebrating Hanukkah in central Arkansas?