Did You Know? Countdown to Chanukah 2009 (12/06)

dyk-chanukah09

Did You Know?
Facts, Figures &
Folklore about Chanukah
the Jewish Festival of Lights

Dec 06 : 05 days till Chanukah

Did you know that the number of branches on the chanukiah is connected to a miracle said to have happened when the Maccabees restored the Temple?

The Jews cleaned up their Temple, fixed the broken alter and removed all the Greek idols. Then, they went to light the eternal lamp to rededicate the Temple. There was only enough oil to last for one night, and the process of refining more oil would have taken a long time. Miraculously, however, the oil burned through eight nights.

Did you know that Jewish law commands every Jewish person to light his or her own chanukiah?

This is why families will often own multiple chanukiot (plural), with simple, wooden ones being used for younger children. Once all the chanukiot are lit, families recite a special prayer and sing songs about the brave Maccabees.

Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is a celebration of the victory of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. It also commemorates the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days. Jewish people mark this eight-day holiday by lighting the menorah, an eight-branched candelabra, and eating foods fried in oil such as potato latkes and jelly donuts. Join us for a new Did You Know? each day as we count down to Chanukah.

Chanukah, Hanukkah, Hanaka — no matter how you spell it — the fun begins at sundown on Friday December 11th.

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