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Known as the Jewish Festival of Lights, this holiday is an eight day long celebration for the Jewish religion.  This holiday originated in the Hellinistic age, where suppression of Jewish religion was prominent.  The temple was overrun by successors of Alexander, and oppression was extreme, until the Jewish people revolted.  The temple had a menorah which was always supposed to burn; however there was only enough oil after the struggle for one night.  According to beliefs, the oil burned for eight days and that is what the celebration is really about, the miracle of the oil.  The holiday is in remembrance of the rededication of the temple after being defiled by the Greeks.

 

The modern day holiday is celebrated by having a Hanukia which is a candelabrum to hold nine candles, one for each night and a candle in which to light the others each night.  Another interesting tradition exhibited during the holiday is the consumption of fried foods, in symbolism with the oil from the story.  The most common food is potato pancake, or latkes.  The exchange of gifts is a modern addition, especially in places where there are Christians.  A traditional gift however is Chanukah gelt, which is a small amount of money.  This gift used to be for people to afford Chanukah candles.  The game of Dreidel is a game of gambling with pennies, chocolate coines candy, etc.  Four Hebrew letters are on the four sides and each side has something for the person to do with their “currency”.  Nothing, all, half, and put are the general rules from the side names, Nun, Gimmel, Heh, and Shin. 

This year, Chanukah goes from December 1-9.

 

For an interesting site for stories, recipes and how to play dreidel, check out Chabad.org http://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/default_cdo/jewish/Hanukkah.htm

 

For more information on this Jewish Holiday, click here

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/holiday7.html

 

From all of us at AJM Insurance, Happy Holidays!

AJM Insurance does not discriminate against any race or religious belief, we only wish to honor and respect all religious affiliations and provide interesting facts and information for the betterment of society.

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