Jews around the world celebrate Hanukkah, or the Feast of Lights, which begins tonight with the lighting of the first candle of an eight-branched candelabra and the tasting of traditional sweets called “Sufganiyot”.
Hanukkah — The Feast of Lights
Gregorian Calendar 2022:
From the evening of Sunday, December 18 to the evening of Monday, December 26.
Jewish Calendar 5783:
From the evening of Sunday, Kislev 24 to the evening of Monday, Tevet 2.
The holiday will begin shortly after sundown and end eight days later when all the lit candles of the candelabra will be visible in the windows of homes throughout much of Israel and Jewish communities around the world.
Consecration and Purification of the Temple of Jerusalem
In 165 B.C., after the Maccabean uprising against the Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes who, following the Hellenistic tradition of his dynasty, had introduced the cult of Zeus so that the Israelites would assimilate his culture, the Temple of Jerusalem was purified and consecrated. This feast commemorates that event.
The Jews were no longer allowed to practice their religion, including prayer in the Temple, the center of Judaism, due to political and economic constraints. Nor were they allowed to perform the most fundamental rituals, such as circumcisions, Sabbath observance, or Torah study (Pentatek).
However, the Hebrews who rebelled against the tyrants who had ruled the area since the time of Alexander the Great lived in the biblical city of Modiin, where this park is located.
Maoz points out that the monotheistic faith of the Jewish people prevented them from fully assimilating the Hellenistic culture of paganism of the time, which was one of the causes of the rebellion of a priestly family known as the Hasmoneans or Maccabees.
Although in contemporary Israel the celebration has come to represent the military triumph of Judas Maccabee, the use of light evokes a Talmudic story that has less to do with man and more with divine intervention.
History of Hanukkah
When the Jewish priests arrived in Jerusalem to restore worship and light the Temple lamp, there was only a small jar of pure oil enough for one day, but, according to tradition, it remained lit for eight days.
This is known as the “miracle of Hanukkah”.
The celebration is observed for eight days because, according to the Hebrew calendar, this occurred between the 25th of the month of Kislev and the 2nd of Tevet. Until the eighth night, when all the lights of the lamp are lit, a candle from the “Hanukkiah” candelabrum is lit every night.
Jewish families have a tradition of placing these lit lamps and candles in their windows so that guests can see them from outside.
The children are the protagonists of Chanukah
Like at Christmas, children are the protagonists of this celebration.
They are showered with gifts and money and enjoy playing with four-sided spinning tops known as “sevivon” that bear the Hebrew legend “a great miracle has happened here”.
Hanukkah is no exception; therefore, eating “Sufganiyot,” a low-calorie bun (each has about 400 calories) made with a dough similar to American doughnuts, but filled with jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar, is common during the holiday in Israel.
The miracle associated with the oil that occurred in the biblical sanctuary in Jerusalem is remembered in Israelite communities abroad through the consumption of fritters and other fried pastries.
All to commemorate a period of revolt that occurred more than two thousand years ago and is documented in various texts, such as the Mishnah, the accounts of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and the New Testament.