The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend, Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.
Sadly in the 21st century and right now, Jewish people in Israel and around the world are still being confronted with the reality of oppression and hatred. Following the attack on Israel on October 7th -as we light candles this Chanukah, let’s take a moment to pray for the return of the hostages in captivity in Gaza, for an end to this war, for an end to the terrorism and for the building of a peaceful tomorrow for all mankind.
Click here to hear Mosab Hassan Yousef, speaking at the UN on November 21st 2023. Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of Hamas co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, defected from the terrorist group in the late ’90s and secretly worked with Israel’s security services to expose and prevent several Hamas terrorist attacks. He later gave his life to Christ and wrote a 2010 autobiography titled ‘Son of Hamas’.
Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.
The holiday of Chanukkah is completely oil-oriented. The miracle involved the Greeks’ unsuccessful attempt to defile all the oil in the Holy Temple, and the miraculous jug of oil which burned for eight days.
We celebrate by lighting menorahs—preferably with oil—and eating oily foods such as latkes (or draniki in Belarus) and doughnuts.
Check out Michelle’s Chanukah recipes:
This article was first published on November 18th 2021
Try our recipe from our special guest Hilda Bronstein:
Try our recipe with from Belarus/Russia: ‘Hvorost’ for Chanukah