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Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by ccheese, Dec 20, 2011.
Hanukkah begins tonight at sundown - to all my Jewish friends and neighbors, happy Hanukkah!
A Happy Hanukkah guys !!!
Happy Hanukkah guys!
For anyone who is not aware, Hanukkah is the story of a great victory of the Jews over the Syrian-Greeks. In 165 BC, led by the Hasmonean family of Mattathias the High Priest and his youngest son, Judah, the Jews succeeded in evicting the Syrian-Greeks from Israel and restored the Temple.
According to the Talmud, after the Temple had been cleaned and the Priests were ready to light the Temple menorah, they could find only one jug of oil that was fit to use. The oil used in the menorah was the purest olive oil. The rabbis say the oil was so pure, only the first drop of oil from each olive could be used. Because of the need for strict purity of the oil, it took seven days to make a single batch of oil. The single jug of pure oil left in the temple was only enough for one day, but it lasted for eight. This is why Hanukah is eight days long. For eight days beginning on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev Jews light the menorah to celebrate the victory and the miracle of Hanukah.
Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew word "Khanu" meaning 'and they rested,' and from the Hebrew date Kaf Hey which equals 25. That is why Hanukah is celebrated begining on the 25th of the month of Kislev.
So to all: chag Chanukah sameach
bringing out the menorah this evening...well, sundown actually.
happy hanukkah to any of my Jewish friends I hope you have 8 days of awesome presents!
Happy Hanukkah !
Happy Hanukkah, y'all!
And thanks to Mike, I never knew the history behind it.
Happy Hanukkah folks!!!
You guy's 'n' gals have a good one !
It interesting to note the story of the oil and there is some interpretation amongst different groups in Judasim (yes, like any other religion, they don't all agree). Some rabbis say the story of the oil is how it happened. Others will say that it probably didn't happen, but as in any great religious story, the hero needs to be G-d. So Judah Maccabee was the one who led the rag-tag rebellious army against the Assyrians, who were the most advanced army at the time, and beat them. There are so many ways that the story could have gone.
It takes 8 days to consecrate (Bless and make holy) a temple and the first temple was desecrated by the Assyrians, so it had to be re-dedicated. The oil is what keeps the Ner Tamid lit. The Ner Tamid is a light that is always burning in a temple and (again depending on the group you talk to) symbolizes the light of G-d that can never be extinguished. It is an important part of any temple. Having a day's worth of oil last 8 days is the miracle of G-d that was needed to have a mere mortal heroic, but the biggest hero was the big guy upstairs.
The Ner Tamid, by the way is seen today in some Christian churches, only it is symbolizing the light of Christ. There are many things that the Jews and Christians do that have are the same. So while we worship differently, we do worship the same G-d, and as in many things in religion, we disagree on the Messianic piece of it.
Hanukkah is not in the top 5 Jewish holidays, by the way. It just gets a lot of attention around this time of year because of the Christmas celebrations. But it is one of the times during the year that the family gets together and feasts. One of the running jokes among Jews is that the definition of a Jewish holiday is "Someone tried to kill us, we survived, lets eat." It's pretty much true, except for Yom Kippur.
So Happy Hanukkah to my Hebrew Homies and thanks everyone for the wishes. 8)
Eric, my pre-wife says that in addition to the "Lets eat" sentiment, most of the holidays - instead of joyful - are down-right mean, with the fasting and the Gefilte fish and.....
Evan, excellent post. The Hanukkah menorah is, strictly speaking, a nine-branched candelabrum used during the holiday of Hanukkah, as opposed to the seven-branched menorah used in the ancient Temple. The seven branched menorah is a traditional symbol of Judaism, along with the Star of David.
The ninth holder, the shamash , is for the center higher candle used to light all other candles. The candles are placed in the Hanukkah menorah from right to left and kindled from left to right. The manner of lighting one additional candle each night follows the opinion of the House of Hillel, which was accepted as Jewish law. The House of Shammai disagreed; it held that eight candles should be kindled the first night, seven the second night, and so on down to one candle on the last night.
The purpose of the extra light, the shamash, is to adhere to the prohibition, specified in the Talmud, against using the Hanukkah lights for anything other than publicizing and meditating on the Hanukkah story. The Hanukkah lights are to light the “House without”. So if one were to need extra illumination on Hanukkah, the shamash candle would be available and one would avoid using the prohibited lights to light the “House within”.
The accepted time line is as follows:
175 BC: Antiochus IV ascends the Seleucid throne.
168 BC: Under the reign of Antiochus IV, the Temple is looted, Jews are massacred, and Judaism is outlawed.
167 BC: Antiochus orders an altar to Zeus erected in the Temple. Mattathias (the High Priest), and his five sons John, Simon, Eleazar, Jonathan, and Judah lead a rebellion against Antiochus. Judah becomes known as Judah Maccabe (maccabe is not a last name it means HAMMER).
166 BC: Mattathias dies, and Judah takes his place as leader. The Hasmonean Jewish Kingdom begins; It lasts until 63 BC
165 BC: The Jewish revolt against the Seleucid monarchy is successful. The Temple is liberated and rededicated (Hanukkah).
Blessings Eric to you, your wife and beautiful children and to my other Jewish brethren ............ the land of Israel and it's people has a special place in my heart for many reasons.