Hanukkah is a popular Jewish holiday that is celebrated annually in the month of Kislev (usually from late November to late December) to commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem by the Maccabees after their victory over the armies of Antichus. For many, the Festival of Lights is one of the most beloved of all Jewish holidays because it celebrates the triumph of good over evil. While this triumph is commemorated with prayers, lighting of the Menorah, singing of traditional songs and eating of delicious snacks, it is also celebrated with the exchange of gifts and holding of parties. Hanukkah is a time for celebration, but how many nights does it last in Israel?
In Israel, the Hanukkah celebration is usually 8 days long. On the first night of the holiday, the first light of the eight-branched Menorah is kindled. Each of the following nights the number of lights increases, until the menorah is filled with 8 lights. The holiday begins in the evening, usually on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, and ends at the same time eight days later.
Prince Judah’s Triumph
The holiday commemorates the victory of the Jewish people in their revolt against the Syrian-Greeks. During that revolt, led by prince Mathoni and his 4 brothers, the small Jewish army, clear against all odds, managed to defeat the larger and more powerful forces of Antiochus, whom the Jews referred to as the tyrant king. It is for this victorious battle that Prince Judah, whose nickname is Maccabee, is remembered. Upon entering the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, they wanted to light the Menorah, but they only had a limited amount of pure olive oil. Miraculously, the oil burned 8 days and nights, and they were able to celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem for 8 nights. This miracle is what is being celebrated to this day during the Festival of Lights.
The Religious Significance
In Israel, the 8 days of Hanukkah are celebrated with great enthusiasm. Many families gather to light the Menorah, sing traditional songs, tell stories, and eat special foods prepared for the holiday. Gifts are exchanged, alongside small coins called “Hanukkia”, which are given to children from their parents. Hanukkah is also a religious time of redemption and letting go of negative feelings, while also being a reminder to thank God for the miracles that are still performed today.
In conclusion, Hanukkah is a 8-day long celebration in Israel which marks the proud victory of the Jewish people against the Syrian-Greeks. It is celebrated with plenty of traditions, including the lighting of the Menorah, exchanging of gifts, singing of songs, and the telling of stories. It also has great religious significance, as it serves as an opportunity to thank God for His miracles and to make peace with others.
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Last update 2023-11-26. Price and product availability may change.