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The Story of Chanukah

Chanukah 2011: Tuesday December 20 (sundown)

Every year between the end of November and the end of December, Jewish people around the world celebrate the holiday of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights. Chanukah begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, but the starting date on the western calendar varies from year to year. The holiday celebrates the events which took place over 2,300 years ago in the land of Judea, which is now Israel

Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away

WHOOPS! Wrong story! :-)

Long ago in the land of Judea there was a Syrian king, Antiochus. The king ordered the Jewish people to reject their G-d, their religion, their customs and their beliefs and to worship the Greek gods. There were some who did as they were told, but many refused. One who refused was Judah Maccabee.

Judah and his four brothers formed an army and chose as their name the word "Maccabee", which means hammer. After three years of fighting, the Maccabees were finally successful in driving the Syrians out of Israel and reclaimed the Temple in Jerusalem. The Maccabees wanted to clean the building and to remove the hated Greek symbols and statues. On the 25th day of the month of Kislev, the job was finished and the temple was rededicated.

When Judah and his followers finished cleaning the temple, they wanted to light the eternal light, known as the N'er Tamid, which is present in every Jewish house of worship. Once lit, the oil lamp should never be extinguished.

Only a tiny jug of oil was found with only enough for a single day. The oil lamp was filled and lit. Then a miracle occurred as the tiny amount of oil stayed lit not for one day, but for eight days.

Jews celebrate Chanukah to mark the victory over the Syrians and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. The Festival of the Lights, Chanukah, lasts for eight days to commemorate the miracle of the oil. The word Chanukah means "rededication".

In America, families celebrate Chanukah at home. They give and receive gifts, decorate the house, entertain friends and family, eat special foods, and light the holiday menorah.

Like this article?

Related Articles:
The Prayer for Lighting the Chanukah Menorah
Who Were The Maccabees?
Shop for Chanukah Without Breaking the Bank
Play the Dreidel Game
Lighting the Chanukah Menorah

Add Comment
chris from Illinois, US
09:23 11/21/2011
thankyou you have helped me on my research project
taylor from Virginia, US
09:09 10/25/2011
great story
leo solomons from Europe
05:08 09/21/2011
you splet chunnukah wrong! haha
alani.f from American Samoa
18:09 09/14/2011
i read this story it is good.i wish i could read it again.
juels,(: from Texas, US
14:19 12/16/2010
the beging wack:) opps im sorry wrong story dats stupidd[X
malliya from Florida, US
14:18 12/13/2010
this is fun i love it
jessica from Nevada, US
17:45 12/08/2010
. This is really good story.I have a story self.Here it goe's.There was a the meanestteacher in the world.Her name was m...m...mrs.c...a....l...l..i..n .she made them sit in a seat to help them she tied them to there seat.Theydid not like so they said"help me help me!I'm tied to my seat!"But,of cure she was smart she duck taped there mouths.When the prinesable came in she had a button to make the students and her to have a a made out of plasic,talking model that look like them
gabriela from Kansas, US
16:39 12/08/2010
i am jewish and this artical does not have aany special greetings.
sueine from Delaware, US
14:45 12/07/2010
hi i'm careing and will help celabate hanukkah
angel from Louisiana, US
09:12 12/07/2010
i can not find the answer

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