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Hanukkah History

This joyous holiday commemorates events that took place in Judea more than 2,000 years ago when the Syrian king Antiochus ordered the Jews to abandon the Torah and publicly worship the Greek gods. This act provoking a rebellion led by Judas Maccabeus, climaxed with the retaking of the Temple in Jerusalem which had been desecrated by the Syrians. The army of Jews won despite their small numbers. In an eight-day celebration, the “Maccabees” (as the rebels came to be known) cleansed and rededicated the Temple (Hanukkah means “dedication”).  According to the Talmud, (the comprehensive written version of the Jewish oral law plus the commentaries on it), there was only enough consecrated oil to re-light the candelabra for one day, yet, miraculously, it remained lit for eight days. The central feature of the observance of Hanukkah is the nightly lighting of the menorah, an eight-branched candelabra with a place for a ninth candle used to light the others. One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, and an additional candle is lit on each successive night, until, on the eighth night, the menorah is fully illuminated. (VFI News)

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”. Jn. 1:5