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Chanukah Sameach!

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Tonight’s the first night of Chanukah. We have so much to be thankful for but most especially President Trump. In this year 5778 the darkness has lifted. We escaped from a very long, nightmare. Baruch HaShem. Latkes for everyone!

Or for the more traditional among you:

And of course, the story of Hanukkah (thanks to Chabad):

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Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods.

The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple (as you’ll read below). Also spelled Hanukkah (or variations of that spelling), the Hebrew word is actually pronounced with a guttural, “kh” sound, kha-nu-kah, not tcha-new-kah.

What Chanukah Commemorates

Artist Dominic Alves captured this image of a snowy Chanukah in Brighton, UK.
Artist Dominic Alves captured this image of a snowy Chanukah in Brighton, UK.

In the second century BCE, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of mitzvah observance and belief in G‑d. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G‑d.

When they sought to light the Temple’s Menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks. Miraculously, they lit the menorah and the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.

To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Chanukah.

Read the full story of Chanukah.

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