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Jewish Holy Days Paper
REL/134
June 12, 2013

Hanukkah
Hanukkah is an eight day and night celebration. That begins in the Jewish month called Kislev, occurring in November or December of a secular calendar. The word Hanukkah means dedication. The holiday is rededication of the holy temple in Jerusalem (165 B.C). The event was established when Jewish victory over the Syrian Greeks. Hanukkah is a holiday that has significance like Christmas. The celebration has a meaningful history, traditions practices, and cultural differences in the various branches of Judaism.
The story is in 168 B.C. the Jewish temple was seized by the Syrian Greek soldiers. The Jewish people were afraid to fight back. After the Syrian Greek Emperor ordered all Jews to worship Greek gods. The Jews began to resistance and join together to retake their land from the Greeks. The rebels were called Maccabees. Maccabees got control of their land and returned to the temple of Jerusalem. The Jews were forced to eat swine and worship ideal gods. So to cleanse their selves they burned ritual oils in the temple of Jerusalem for eight days. The significant thing was there was only enough oil for one day but, the oil surprised the Jews and lasted eight days. That was the miracle of Hanukkah.
There are many traditions when it comes to celebrating Hanukkah. The celebration involves games, the songs, and foods. One of the games is called dreidel. It’s the spinning of the four side toy. The songs are like Dreidel song, and the Hanukkah song made by Adam Sandler. That tells the song of the miracle of the oil. The food is latkes and sufganiyot. Latkes is like a pancake but is made from potato and onion. A Sufganiyot is filled and fried doughnut with powder sugar. The tradition is to light the eight candles. Example, on the first night one candle is lit following adding each extra one by the eighth day. So on the eight day all candles are lit.
The significance of the eight days are reconnecting to the temple of Jerusalem. Day one is the knowledge of God. The second day is to study the written and oral law. Third, is to be knowable that Jews are the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and to be independent on Nefesh (life force) or Ruach (Spirit). Day four deals with the declaring God’s unity and love God with Heart, soul, Might, and Strength. In day five the five books of Moses are studied. On the six day goes over examining the selves. The seventh day represents perfection two eyes, two ears, two nasal valves and one mouth. Finally, the eighth day is a rededicated mind.
The Culture differences are accruing with Christmas and Hanukkah. Christmas is the birth of Christ and Hanukkah is the victory of the Syrian Greeks and the miracle in the burning oil. There are other holy Jewish days that have significance. The other Jewish holiday is Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Chanukkah, Sukkot, and Purim. Passover is the celebration of the Ten Commandments, it start the night of the full moon in April. Also the Passover for Christian is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rosh Hashanah is a festive holiday it the New Year in the Jewish calendar. This occurs between Labor Day and Columbus Day. Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. Jewish people repent and fast for mistakes that are made during the year. Yom Kippur festival starts late September or early October. The Christian holiday is Communion, where Christians repent for their sins, and it occurs every month. The lights festival is called Chanukkah it’s the rededication of The Temple of Jerusalem from the victory of Syrian Greeks. Chanukkah is Hanukkah. Sukkot is the celebration of the Bible time in other words the B.C time. The funny thing is some Jewish holidays fall right behind each other. Last, Purim is day of the Jewish Mardi Gras. Jews believe in this holiday to discover the age of trees and religious purposes. This happens in late January or early February.
Hanukkah is holiday of eight days of gift giving and getting knowledge. Hanukkah is to inspire to rededicated lives back to The Temple of Jerusalem when the oil was burnt for eight days and there was enough oil for one day. The significance is having known the knowledge and being able to teach the Jews and have a celebration although doing so; with the games and food and rededicated of the Jews lives.

References
Ariela Pelaia, Jewish Holiday,(2007) About.com
Shulkan Aruk and Guide to Jewish Holy Days: (2009) pg. 34…...

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