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Showing posts from December, 2012

Hanukkah 2014

Hanukkah

Hanukkah, the "Festival of Lights," starts on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev and lasts for eight days and nights. In 2014, Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 16th. With blessings, games, and festive foods, Hanukkah celebrates the triumphs--both religious and military--of ancient Jewish heroes. Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish year. In the United States, however, its closeness to Christmas has brought greater attention to Hanukkah and its gift-giving tradition. Amid the ever-growing flood of Christmas advertising, it may seem especially fitting that the Hanukkah story tells of Jewish culture surviving in a non-Jewish world. The Hanukkah StoryNearly 2,200 years ago, the Greek-Syrian ruler Antiochus IV tried to force Greek culture upon peoples in his territory. Jews in Judea - now Israel- were forbidden their most important religious practices as well as study of the Torah. Although vastly outnumbered, religiou…