Did You Know? Countdown to Chanukah 2009 (12/07)


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

Dec 07 : 04 days till Chanukah

Did you know the Chanukah lights are placed from left to right in the chanukiah, but are lit from right to left?

This topic was extensively debated thousands of years ago by the Jewish sages, who ultimately decided on this order of things. Since then, every Jew has lit his or her chanukiah in the same manner.

Did you know that the chanukiah is supposed to be lit at nightfall, except on the Sabbath*, when the candles are lit immediately before sunset so that the Sabbath candles may be lit afterwards?

The Chanukah lights are supposed to remain illuminated for at least thirty minutes after dark. Olive oil was originally used to light the chanukiah, but today many families opt for the less expensive option of brightly colored candles. These special Chanukah candles are designed to burn for 40 minutes.

*This year (2009) the first night of Chanukah falls on the Sabbath.

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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