Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is an eight day celebration of freedom and the rededication of a temple that has been kept alive for centuries. It is also a time for joy, for the gathering of family and friends, and a celebration of Jewish culture and tradition. Hanukkah looks differently for each family, but the overall theme of this holiday is the same. Jews take this time to rejoice with a special meal, lighting the menorah, and coming together to make wonderful memories.
Lighting The Menorah
The menorah, an eight-branched candelabra, is lit to commemorate the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. On the first night of Hanukkah, one candle is lit; the additional candles are added each night until all eight candles are lit.
Blessing The Candles
The blessing said over the candles when lighting them is Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Haolam, Asher Kiddshanu B’mitzvotav, V’tzivanu L’hadlik Ner Shel Hanukkah. This translates to “Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us to light the Hanukkah flame.”
The Traditional Dishes
Traditionally, a few different dishes are served at a Hanukkah celebration:
- Latkes – potato pancakes fried in oil to commemorate the miracle of the oil lasting eight days.
- Sufganiyot - doughnuts filled with jam or custard to signify the round shape of the holiday.
- Greek salad – to symbolize the victory of the Jews over the Greeks.
- Cheese platter – to remind of the story of Judith, who killed the Greek general with cheese and wine.
These foods are all special to Hanukkah, but everyone celebrates the holiday in their own way and may choose to focus on some dishes and not others.
Hanukkah is a time for people to come together, celebrate and remember, and create beautiful memories to cherish forever. Every family has their own unique way of celebrating Hanukkah, but ultimately, it is a time of unity and joy to rededicate the Temple and remember the great miracles that have happened within our faith. This year, may the Festival of Lights bring a greater sense of joy to our homes and communities, and may the miracle of the oil’s longevity light our way.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.