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Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights

Dec 21, 2022 | General News

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As we are in the middle of our holiday season, it’s essential to reflect on how some of our holidays came about. The meaning of the holidays gives us a new or renewed perspective and respect that sometimes gets lost in our shopping craze. 

One such holiday is Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. This celebration honors the Jewish taking back their acts of worship in Jerusalem after the Greco-Syrian ruler Antiochus IV banned them, which happened around 168 BC.

These events were not in the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, Old Testament), since the events happened after the Torah was written, so this holiday isn’t regarded as a per se religious holiday. However, it is mentioned in the New Testament and celebrated with all the heart and enthusiasm by many.

A Beautiful Miracle: The Festival of Lights and Lighting of the Menorah

According to the Talmud (which is a compilation of ancient sacred teaching and the primary source of Jewish religious law and theology), olive oil was needed to light the menorah after cleaning the temple. Unfortunately, there was only enough olive oil to last one day, but miraculously that oil survived eight days. On Hanukkah, Jewish people celebrate religious freedom and the miraculous event of the olive oil lasting so the menorah could stay lit. 

Hanukkah is an eight-day event in honor of the olive oil miracle. A candle is lit each day on a Hanukkiah (a candelabrum with nine candles); one central candle is used to illuminate the others, known as the shamash. 

Today, Hanukkah and Christmas have progressed to more of a commercially-oriented event, thus bringing elaborate gifts to thy and thou. But let’s never forget the true meaning of these holidays



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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting