Chanukah (Dedication) is an eight day festival of lights beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. According to tradition as recorded in the Talmud, at the time of the rededication, there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah in the Temple which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one night, yet miraculously, it burned for eight nights — the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle. Note that the holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil.

While Jews do not glorify war, this holiday also celebrates the heroic struggles of the Maccabees against pagan forces at the time of religious persecution which helped to form the character of the Jewish people.


Significance: Remembers the rededication of the Temple after it was defiled by the Greeks

Observances: Lighting Candles

Length: 8 days

Customs: eating potato latkes; playing with a dreidel

Date: December 2-10, 2018