Hanukkah 2017

Happy Hanukkah!

The festive season is upon us and with it, different religious festivities. The Jews will observe Hanukkah beginning Tuesday night. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and is also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights. During this period the Jews remember the harsh times their forefathers endured as well as the rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem.

The Jews defeated Syrian and Greek forces which subjected them to worship Greek deities. The rebellion lasted three years and they were able to reclaim the temple. After reclaiming the temple, the victorious Jews lit the ceremonial lamp (Menorah) which they expected to burn for a day. In what has come to be considered as a miracle, the ceremonial lamp burned for eight days.

This is the reason this Festival of Lights lasts for eight days. Every evening a new candle is lit on the menorah, which has eight candle holders. Hanukkah is also a time for children to receive presents. The gifts are often given at night and are usually in monetary form. The gifts signify rewarding good behavior.

The Jewish Festival of Lights is a world-renowned celebration and as such is a common occurrence no matter which part of the world you are in. If you do find a public menorah lighting spare a few minutes and appreciate this beautiful ceremony.

Tonight, the world's attention will be in New York as the largest menorah will be lit. Different American sports franchises under the NBA, NFL, and NHL are also going to recognize Hanukkah.

Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is hosting a menorah lighting ceremony and party on Friday. Rabbi Mark Miller told The Detroit News: “Everybody can celebrate the idea that the future can be brighter than the past and we as individuals have an ability to symbolically bring the light of goodness, kindness and joy when we see other things unfortunately happening around us.

“It’s our story, but I think it’s everybody’s values that are shared at this time.”

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