Hanukkah (/ˈhɑːnəkə/ HAH-nə-kə; Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה
khanuká, Tiberian: khanuká, usually spelled חנוכה,
pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew, [ˈχanukə] or [ˈχanikə]
in Yiddish; a transliteration also romanized as Chanukah or Ḥanukah)
Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple
(the Second Temple) in
Jerusalem at the time of the
Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and
days, starting on the 25th day of
Kislev according to the Hebrew
calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late
December in the Gregorian calendar. It is also known as the Festival
of Lights and the Feast of Dedication.
The festival is observed by lighting the candles of a candelabrum with
nine branches, called a
Hanukkah menorah (or hanukkiah). One branch is
typically placed above or below the others and its candle is used to
light the other eight candles. This unique candle is called the
shamash (Hebrew: שמש, "attendant"). Each night, one additional
candle is lit by the shamash until all eight candles are lit together
on the final night of the holiday. Other
include playing dreidel and eating oil-based foods such as doughnuts
and latkes. Since the 1970s, the worldwide
Hasidic movement has
initiated public menorah lightings in open public places in many
1.1 Alternative spellings
2 Historical sources
2.1 Maccabees, Mishna, and Talmud
2.2 Narrative of Josephus
2.3 Other ancient sources
3.2 Traditional view
3.3 Academic sources
3.5 Battles of the
3.6 Characters and heroes
4.1 Kindling the
4.2 Candle-lighting time
4.3 Blessings over the candles
4.3.1 Blessing for lighting the candles
4.3.2 Blessing for the miracles of Hanukkah
4.3.3 Hanerot Halalu
4.4 Maoz Tzur
4.5 Other customs
Special additions to daily prayers
4.7 Zot Hanukkah
4.8 Other related laws and customs
Hanukkah in the White House
7 Symbolic importance
9 See also
11 Further reading
12 External links
The name "Hanukkah" derives from the Hebrew verb "חנך", meaning
"to dedicate". On Hanukkah, the
Jews regained control of
Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple. Many homiletical
explanations have been given for the name:
The name can be broken down into חנו כ"ה, "[they] rested [on the]
twenty-fifth", referring to the fact that the
Jews ceased fighting on
the 25th day of Kislev, the day on which the holiday begins.
חנוכה (Hanukkah) is also the Hebrew acronym for ח נרות
והלכה כבית הלל — "Eight candles, and the halakha is
like the House of Hillel". This is a reference to the disagreement
between two rabbinical schools of thought — the House of Hillel and
the House of
Shammai — on the proper order in which to light the
Shammai opined that eight candles should be lit on
the first night, seven on the second night, and so on down to one on
the last night (because the miracle was greatest on the first day).
Hillel argued in favor of starting with one candle and lighting an
additional one every night, up to eight on the eighth night (because
the miracle grew in greatness each day).
Jewish law adopted the
position of Hillel.
Spelling variations due to transliteration of Hebrew Chet Nun Vav Kaf
In Hebrew, the word
Hanukkah is written חֲנֻכָּה or
חנוכה (Ḥănukkāh). It is most commonly transliterated to
English as Chanukah or Hanukkah, the latter because the sound
represented by "CH" ([χ], similar to the Scottish pronunciation of
"loch") is not native to the English language. Furthermore, the letter
"ḥet" (ח), which is the first letter in the Hebrew spelling, is
pronounced differently in modern Hebrew (voiceless uvular fricative)
from in classical Hebrew (voiceless pharyngeal fricative [ħ]), and
neither of those sounds is unambiguously representable in English
spelling. Moreover, the 'kaf' consonant is geminate in classical (but
not modern) Hebrew. Adapting the classical Hebrew pronunciation with
the geminate and pharyngeal Ḥeth can lead to the spelling
"Hanukkah"; while adapting the modern Hebrew pronunciation with no
gemination and uvular Ḥeth leads to the spelling
Maccabees, Mishna, and Talmud
See also: Mishnah § Omissions
The story of
Hanukkah is preserved in the books of the First and
Second Maccabees, which describe in detail the re-dedication of the
Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem and the lighting of the menorah. These books are
not part of the
Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) which came from the Palestinian
canon; however, they were part of the Alexandrian canon which is also
Septuagint (sometimes abbreviated LXX). Both books are
included in the
Old Testament used by the Catholic and Orthodox
Churches, since those churches consider the books deuterocanonical.
They are not included in the
Old Testament books in most Protestant
Bibles since most Protestants consider the books apocryphal. Multiple
Hanukkah are also made in the
Mishna (Bikkurim 1:6, Rosh
HaShanah 1:3, Taanit 2:10, Megillah 3:4 and 3:6, Moed Katan 3:9, and
Bava Kama 6:6), though specific laws are not described. The miracle of
the one-day supply of oil miraculously lasting eight days is first
described in the Talmud, committed to writing about 600 years after
the events described in the books of Maccabees.
Rav Nissim Gaon postulates in his Hakdamah Le'mafteach Hatalmud that
information on the holiday was so commonplace that the
Mishna felt no
need to explain it. A modern-day scholar
Reuvein Margolies suggests
that as the Mishnah was redacted after the Bar Kochba revolt, its
editors were reluctant to include explicit discussion of a holiday
celebrating another relatively recent revolt against a foreign ruler,
for fear of antagonizing the Romans.
Hanukkah lamp unearthed near
Jerusalem about 1900
Gemara (Talmud), in tractate Shabbat, page 21b, focuses on Shabbat
candles and moves to
Hanukkah candles and says that after the forces
Antiochus IV had been driven from the Temple, the Maccabees
discovered that almost all of the ritual olive oil had been profaned.
They found only a single container that was still sealed by the High
Priest, with enough oil to keep the menorah in the Temple lit for a
single day. They used this, yet it burned for eight days (the time it
took to have new oil pressed and made ready).
Talmud presents three options:
The law requires only one light each night per household,
A better practice is to light one light each night for each member of
The most preferred practice is to vary the number of lights each
Except in times of danger, the lights were to be placed outside one's
door, on the opposite side of the mezuza, or in the window closest to
the street. Rashi, in a note to
Shabbat 21b, says their purpose is to
publicize the miracle. The blessings for
Hanukkah lights are discussed
in tractate Succah, p. 46a.
Narrative of Josephus
The Jewish historian Titus Flavius
Josephus narrates in his book,
Jewish Antiquities XII, how the victorious
Judas Maccabeus ordered
lavish yearly eight-day festivities after rededicating the Temple in
Jerusalem that had been profaned by
Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Josephus does not say the festival was called
Hanukkah but rather the
"Festival of Lights":
"Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the
sacrifices of the temple for eight days, and omitted no sort of
pleasures thereon; but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid
sacrifices; and he honored God, and delighted them by hymns and
psalms. Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs,
when, after a long time of intermission, they unexpectedly had
regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for
their posterity, that they should keep a festival, on account of the
restoration of their temple worship, for eight days. And from that
time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it Lights. I suppose
the reason was because this liberty beyond our hopes appeared to us;
and that thence was the name given to that festival. Judas also
rebuilt the walls round about the city, and reared towers of great
height against the incursions of enemies, and set guards therein. He
also fortified the city Bethsura, that it might serve as a citadel
against any distresses that might come from our enemies."
Other ancient sources
The story of
Hanukkah is alluded to in the book of 1
Maccabees and 2
Maccabees. The eight-day rededication of the temple is described in 1
Maccabees 4:36–4:59, though the name of the festival and the miracle
of the lights do not appear here. A story similar in character, and
obviously older in date, is the one alluded to in 2 Maccabees
1:18–1:36 according to which the relighting of the altar fire by
Nehemiah was due to a miracle which occurred on the 25th of Kislev,
and which appears to be given as the reason for the selection of the
same date for the rededication of the altar by Judah
Maccabee. The above account in 1
Maccabees 4, as well
Maccabees 1:9 portrays the feast as a delayed observation of the
eight-day Feast of Booths (Sukkot)"; similarly 2
explains the length of the feast as "in the manner of the Feast of
Another source is the Megillat Antiochus. This work (also known as
"Megillat Benei Ḥashmonai", "Megillat Hanukkah", or "Megillat
Yevanit") is extant in both the Aramaic and Hebrew languages; the
Hebrew version is a literal translation from the Aramaic original.
Recent scholarship dates it to somewhere between the 2nd and 5th
Centuries, probably in the 2nd century, with the Hebrew dating to
the 7th century. It was published for the first time in
1557. Saadia Gaon, who translated it into Arabic in the 9th century,
ascribed it to the elders of the School of
Shammai and the School of
Hillel. The Hebrew text with an English translation can be found
Siddur of Philip Birnbaum.
The Scroll of Antiochus concludes with the following words:
...After this, the sons of
Israel went up to the Temple and rebuilt
its gates and purified the Temple from the dead bodies and from the
defilement. And they sought after pure olive oil to light the lamps
therewith, but could not find any, except one bowl that was sealed
with the signet ring of the High Priest from the days of Samuel the
prophet and they knew that it was pure. There was in it [enough oil]
to light [the lamps therewith] for one day, but the God of heaven
whose name dwells there put therein his blessing and they were able to
light from it eight days. Therefore, the sons of Ḥashmonai made this
covenant and took upon themselves a solemn vow, they and the sons of
Israel, all of them, to publish amongst the sons of Israel, [to the
end] that they might observe these eight days of joy and honour, as
the days of the feasts written in [the book of] the Law; [even] to
light in them so as to make known to those who come after them that
their God wrought for them salvation from heaven. In them, it is not
permitted to mourn, neither to decree a fast [on those days], and
anyone who has a vow to perform, let him perform it.
Section from the Aramaic Scroll of Antiochus in Babylonian supralinear
punctuation, with an Arabic translation
Original language (Aramaic):
בָּתַר דְּנָּא עָלוּ בְּנֵי
יִשְׂרָאֵל לְבֵית מַקְדְּשָׁא
וּבְנוֹ תַּרְעַיָּא וְדַכִּיאוּ
בֵּית מַקְדְּשָׁא מִן קְטִילַיָּא
וּמִן סְאוֹבֲתָא. וּבעוֹ מִשְׁחָא
דְּזֵיתָא דָּכְיָא לְאַדְלָקָא
בּוֹצִנַיָּא וְלָא אַשְׁכַּחוּ אֵלָא
צְלוֹחִית חֲדָא דַּהֲוָת חֲתִימָא
בְּעִזְקָת כָּהֲנָא רַבָּא מִיּוֹמֵי
שְׁמוּאֵל נְבִיָּא וִיַדְעוּ דְּהִיא
דָּכְיָא. בְּאַדְלָקוּת יוֹמָא חֲדָא
הֲוָה בַּהּ וַאֲלָה שְׁמַיָּא דִּי
שַׁכֵין שְׁמֵיהּ תַּמָּן יְהַב בַּהּ
בִּרְכְּתָא וְאַדְלִיקוּ מִנַּהּ
תְּמָנְיָא יוֹמִין. עַל כֵּן
קַיִּימוּ בְּנֵי חַשְׁמוּנַּאי
הָדֵין קְיָימָא וַאֲסַרוּ הָדֵין
אֲסָּרָא אִנּוּן וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
כּוּלְּהוֹן. לְהוֹדָעָא לִבְנֵי
יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמֶעֲבַד הָדֵין
תְּמָנְיָא יוֹמִין חַדְוָא וִיקָר
כְּיּוֹמֵי מוֹעֲדַיָּא דִּכְתִיבִין
בְּאוֹרָיְתָא לְאַדְלָקָא בְּהוֹן
לְהוֹדָעָא לְמַן דְּיֵּיתֵי
מִבַּתְרֵיהוֹן אֲרֵי עֲבַד לְהוֹן
אֱלָהֲהוֹן פּוּרְקָנָא מִן שְׁמַיָּא.
בְּהוֹן לָא לְמִסְפַּד וְלָא
לְמִגְזַר צוֹמָא וְכָל דִּיהֵי
עֲלוֹהִי נִדְרָא יְשַׁלְּמִנֵּיהּ
In the Christian Greek Scriptures, John 10:22–23 says Jesus walked
Solomon's Porch at the
Jerusalem Temple during "the Feast of
Dedication and it was winter." The Greek term that is used is "the
renewals" (Greek ta enkainia τὰ ἐγκαίνια). The Hebrew
word for "dedication" is Hanukkah. The Aramaic New Testament uses the
Aramaic word Khawdata (a close synonym), which literally means
"renewal" or "to make new." 
Josephus refers to the festival as
Further information: Coele-Syria
A model of
Jerusalem during the
Second Temple Period
Judea was part of the
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt until 200 BCE when
Antiochus III the Great
Antiochus III the Great of
Syria defeated King Ptolemy V
Epiphanes of Egypt at the Battle of Panium.
Judea then became part of
Seleucid Empire of Syria. King
Antiochus III the Great
Antiochus III the Great wanting
to conciliate his new Jewish subjects guaranteed their right to "live
according to their ancestral customs" and to continue to practice
their religion in the Temple of Jerusalem. However, in 175 BCE,
Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus III, invaded Judea, at
the request of the sons of Tobias. The Tobiads, who led the
Hellenizing Jewish faction in Jerusalem, were expelled to
170 BCE when the high priest Onias and his pro-Egyptian faction
wrested control from them. The exiled
Tobiads lobbied Antiochus IV
Epiphanes to recapture Jerusalem. As Flavius
The king being thereto disposed beforehand, complied with them, and
came upon the
Jews with a great army, and took their city by force,
and slew a great multitude of those that favored Ptolemy, and sent out
his soldiers to plunder them without mercy. He also spoiled the
temple, and put a stop to the constant practice of offering a daily
sacrifice of expiation for three years and six months.
— The Jewish War
High Priest pouring oil over the menorah, Jewish new year card
When the Second
Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem was looted and services stopped,
Judaism was outlawed. In 167 BCE, Antiochus ordered an altar to Zeus
erected in the Temple. He banned brit milah (circumcision) and ordered
pigs to be sacrificed at the altar of the temple.
Antiochus's actions provoked a large-scale revolt. Mattathias
(Mattityahu), a Jewish priest, and his five sons Jochanan, Simeon,
Eleazar, Jonathan, and Judah led a rebellion against Antiochus. It
Mattathias killing first, a Jew who wanted to comply with
Antiochus's order to sacrifice to Zeus, and then a Greek official who
was to enforce the government's behest (1 Mac. 2, 24–25). Judah
became known as Yehuda HaMakabi ("Judah the Hammer"). By 166 BCE
Mattathias had died, and Judah took his place as leader. By 165 BCE
the Jewish revolt against the
Seleucid monarchy was successful. The
Temple was liberated and rededicated. The festival of
instituted to celebrate this event. Judah ordered the Temple to be
cleansed, a new altar to be built in place of the polluted one and new
holy vessels to be made. According to the Talmud, unadulterated and
undefiled pure olive oil with the seal of the kohen gadol (high
priest) was needed for the menorah in the Temple, which was required
to burn throughout the night every night. The story goes that one
flask was found with only enough oil to burn for one day, yet it
burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of
kosher oil for the menorah. An eight-day festival was declared by the
Jewish sages to commemorate this miracle.
The version of the story in 1
Maccabees states that an eight-day
celebration of songs and sacrifices was proclaimed upon re-dedication
of the altar, and makes no specific mention of the miracle of the
US Navy personnel light candles on Hanukkah
Some modern scholars argue that the king was intervening in an
internal civil war between the
Jews and the Hellenized Jews
These competed violently over who would be the High Priest, with
traditionalists with Hebrew/Aramaic names like Onias contesting with
Hellenizing High Priests with Greek names like Jason and Menelaus.
In particular, Jason's Hellenistic reforms would prove to be a
decisive factor leading to eventual conflict within the ranks of
Judaism. Other authors point to possible socioeconomic reasons in
addition to the religious reasons behind the civil war.
What began in many respects as a civil war escalated when the
Hellenistic kingdom of
Syria sided with the Hellenizing
Jews in their
conflict with the traditionalists. As the conflict escalated,
Antiochus took the side of the Hellenizers by prohibiting the
religious practices the traditionalists had rallied around. This may
explain why the king, in a total departure from
Seleucid practice in
all other places and times, banned a traditional religion.
The miracle of the oil is widely regarded as a legend and its
authenticity has been questioned since the Middle Ages. However,
given the famous question Rabbi
Yosef Karo posed concerning why
Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days when the miracle was only for
seven days (since there was enough oil for one day), it was clear
that he believed it was a historical event. This belief has been
adopted by most of Orthodox Judaism, in as much as Rabbi Karo's
Shulchan Aruch is a main Code of Jewish Law.
Second Temple period
Hasmonean Kingdom, 143 BCE
Tombs of the Maccabees, Modi'in, Israel
198 BCE: Armies of the
Antiochus III (Antiochus the
Great) oust Ptolemy V from
Judea and Samaria.
Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) ascends the
168 BCE: Under the reign of Antiochus IV, the second Temple is looted,
Jews are massacred, and
Judaism is outlawed.
167 BCE: Antiochus orders an altar to
Zeus erected in the Temple.
Mattathias and his five sons John, Simon, Eleazar, Jonathan, and Judah
lead a rebellion against Antiochus. Judah becomes known as Judah
Maccabee ("Judah the Hammer").
Mattathias dies, and Judah takes his place as leader. The
Hasmonean Jewish Kingdom begins; It lasts until 63 BCE.
165 BCE: The Jewish revolt against the
Seleucid monarchy is successful
in recapturing the Temple, which is liberated and rededicated
142 BCE: Re-establishment of the Second Jewish Commonwealth. The
Seleucids recognize Jewish autonomy. The
Seleucid kings have a formal
overlordship, which the Hasmoneans acknowledged. This inaugurates a
period of population growth and religious, cultural and social
development. This included the conquest of the areas now covered by
Transjordan, Samaria, Galilee, and
Idumea (also known as Edom), and
the forced conversion of Idumeans to the Jewish religion, including
139 BCE: The
Roman Senate recognizes Jewish autonomy.
Antiochus VII Sidetes
Antiochus VII Sidetes besieges Jerusalem. The
Jews under John
Seleucid vassals but retain religious autonomy.
129 BCE: Antiochus VII dies. The
Hasmonean Jewish Kingdom throws
off Syrian rule completely
96 BCE: Beginning of an eight-year civil war between
Alexander Yanai and the Pharisees.
85–82 BCE: Consolidation of the Kingdom in territory east of the
63 BCE: The
Hasmonean Jewish Kingdom comes to an end because of a
rivalry between the brothers
Aristobulus II and Hyrcanus II, both of
whom appeal to the
Roman Republic to intervene and settle the power
struggle on their behalf. The Roman general Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus
(Pompey the Great) is dispatched to the area. 12 thousand
massacred in the Roman Siege of Jerusalem. The Priests of the Temple
are struck down at the Altar. Rome annexes Judea.
Battles of the
Maccabees on the Knesset Menorah
Selected battles between the
Maccabees and the
Battle of Adasa (
Judas Maccabeus leads the
Jews to victory against the
forces of Nicanor.)
Battle of Beth Horon (
Judas Maccabeus defeats the forces of Seron.)
Battle of Beth-zechariah
Battle of Beth-zechariah (Elazar the Maccabee is killed in battle.
Lysias has success in battle against the Maccabees, but allows them
temporary freedom of worship.)
Battle of Beth Zur
Battle of Beth Zur (
Judas Maccabeus defeats the army of Lysias,
Dathema (A Jewish fortress saved by Judas Maccabeus.)
Battle of Elasa (
Judas Maccabeus dies in battle against the army of
King Demetrius and Bacchides. He is succeeded by Jonathan Maccabaeus
Simon Maccabaeus who continue to lead the
Jews in battle.)
Battle of Emmaus (
Judas Maccabeus fights the forces of Lysias and
Battle of Wadi Haramia
Characters and heroes
Main article: Maccabees
The Triumph of Judas Maccabeus, Rubens
Matityahu the High Priest, also referred to as
Mattathias ben Johanan. Matityahu was a Jewish High Priest who,
together with his five sons, played a central role in the story of
Judah the Maccabee, also referred to as
Judas Maccabeus and Y'hudhah
HaMakabi. Judah was the eldest son of Matityahu and is acclaimed as
one of the greatest warriors in
Jewish history alongside Joshua,
Gideon, and David.
Eleazar the Maccabee, also referred to as Eleazar Avaran, Eleazar
Maccabeus and Eleazar Hachorani/Choran.
Simon the Maccabee, also referred to as
Simon Maccabeus and Simon
Johanan the Maccabee, also referred to as
Johanan Maccabeus and John
Jonathan the Maccabee, also referred to as Jonathan Apphus.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Seleucid emperor controlling the region during
Judith. Acclaimed for her heroism in the assassination of
Hannah and her seven sons. Arrested, tortured and killed one by one,
Antiochus IV Epiphanes
Antiochus IV Epiphanes for refusing to bow to an idol.
Chanukah Menorah opposite Nazi building in Berlin, December 1932.
Hanukkah menorah in Nicosia, Cyprus
Hanukkah celebrated in the Polish Sejm, Warsaw
Hanukkah is celebrated with a series of rituals that are performed
every day throughout the 8-day holiday, some are family-based and
others communal. There are special additions to the daily prayer
service, and a section is added to the blessing after meals.
Hanukkah is not a "Sabbath-like" holiday, and there is no obligation
to refrain from activities that are forbidden on the Sabbath, as
specified in the Shulkhan Arukh. Adherents go to work as usual
but may leave early in order to be home to kindle the lights at
nightfall. There is no religious reason for schools to be closed,
Israel schools close from the second day for the whole
week of Hanukkah. Many families exchange gifts each night,
such as books or games, and "
Hanukkah Gelt" is often given to
children. Fried foods (such as latkes (potato pancakes), jelly
doughnuts (sufganiyot), and
Sephardic bimuelos) are eaten to
commemorate the importance of oil during the celebration of Hanukkah.
Some also have a custom of eating dairy products to remember Judith
and how she overcame
Holofernes by feeding him cheese, which made him
thirsty, and giving him wine to drink. When
Holofernes became very
Judith cut off his head.
Menorah (Hanukkah) and Miracle of the cruse of
Boy in front of a menorah
Hanukkah lights in the dark
Each night throughout the 8 day holiday, a candle or oil-based light
is lit. As a universally practiced "beautification" (hiddur mitzvah)
of the mitzvah, the number of lights lit is increased by one each
night. An extra light called a shamash, meaning "attendant" or
"sexton," is also lit each night, and is given a distinct
location, usually higher, lower, or to the side of the others.
Among Ashkenazim the tendency is for every male member of the
household (and in many families, girls as well) to light a full set of
lights each night, while among Sephardim the prevalent custom
is to have one set of lights for the entire household.
The purpose of the shamash is to adhere to the prohibition, specified
Shabbat 21b–23a), against using the Hanukkah
lights for anything other than publicizing and meditating on the
Hanukkah miracle. This differs from Sabbath candles which are meant to
be used for illumination and lighting. Hence, if one were to need
extra illumination on Hanukkah, the shamash candle would be available,
and one would avoid using the prohibited lights. Some, especially
Ashkenazim, light the shamash candle first and then use it to light
the others. So altogether, including the shamash, two lights are
lit on the first night, three on the second and so on, ending with
nine on the last night, for a total of 44 (36, excluding the shamash).
Sephardic custom not to light the shamash first and use it to
light the rest. Instead, the shamash candle is the last to be lit, and
a different candle or a match is used to light all the candles. Some
Jews follow this
Sephardic custom as well.
The lights can be candles or oil lamps. Electric lights are
sometimes used and are acceptable in places where open flame is not
permitted, such as a hospital room, or for the very elderly and
infirm; however, those who permit reciting a blessing over electric
lamps only allow it if it is incandescent and battery operated (an
incandescent flashlight would be acceptable for this purpose), while a
blessing may not be recited over a plug-in menorah or lamp. Most
Jewish homes have a special candelabrum referred to as either a
Chanukiah (the modern Israeli term) or a menorah (the traditional
name, simply Hebrew for 'lamp'). Many families use an oil lamp
(traditionally filled with olive oil) for Hanukkah. Like the candle
Chanukiah, it has eight wicks to light plus the additional shamash
In the United States,
Hanukkah became a more visible festival in the
public sphere from the 1970s when Rabbi
Menachem M. Schneerson
Menachem M. Schneerson called
for public awareness and observance of the festival and encouraged the
lighting of public menorahs. Diane Ashton attributed
the increased visibility and reinvention of
Hanukkah by some of the
American Jewish community as a way to adapt to American life,
re-inventing the festival in "the language of individualism and
personal conscience derived from both Protestantism and the
The reason for the
Hanukkah lights is not for the "lighting of the
house within", but rather for the "illumination of the house without,"
so that passersby should see it and be reminded of the holiday's
miracle (i.e. that the sole cruse of pure oil found which held enough
oil to burn for one night actually burned for eight nights).
Accordingly, lamps are set up at a prominent window or near the door
leading to the street. It is customary amongst some Ashkenazi
have a separate menorah for each family member (customs vary), whereas
Jews light one for the whole household. Only when there
was danger of antisemitic persecution were lamps supposed to be hidden
from public view, as was the case in Persia under the rule of the
Zoroastrians, or in parts of Europe before and during World War II.
Hasidic groups light lamps near an inside doorway, not
necessarily in public view. According to this tradition, the lamps are
placed on the opposite side from the mezuzah, so that when one passes
through the door s/he is surrounded by the holiness of mitzvot (the
Generally, women are exempt in
Jewish law from time-bound positive
commandments, although the
Talmud requires that women engage in the
mitzvah of lighting
Hanukkah candles “for they too were involved in
Rebbe lights the menorah
Hanukkah lights should usually burn for at least half an hour after it
gets dark. The custom of many is to light at sundown, although
most Hasidim light later. Many
Rebbes light much later to
fulfill the obligation of publicizing the miracle by the presence of
their Hasidim when they kindle the lights.
Inexpensive small wax candles sold for
Hanukkah burn for approximately
half an hour so should be lit no earlier than nightfall. Friday
night presents a problem, however. Since candles may not be lit on
Shabbat itself, the candles must be lit before sunset. However,
they must remain lit through the lighting of the
Hanukkah menorah is lit first with larger candles than
usual, followed by the
Shabbat candles. At the end of the Shabbat,
there are those who light the
Hanukkah lights before
those who make
Havdalah before the lighting
If for whatever reason one didn't light at sunset or nightfall, the
lights should be kindled later, as long as there are people in the
streets. Later than that, the lights should still be kindled, but
the blessings should be recited only if there is at least somebody
else awake in the house and present at the lighting of the Hannukah
Blessings over the candles
See also: List of Jewish prayers and blessings § Hanukkah
Typically two blessings (brachot; singular: brachah) are recited
during this eight-day festival when lighting the candles. On the first
night, the shehecheyanu blessing is added, making a total of three
The blessings are said before or after the candles are lit depending
on tradition. On the first night of
Hanukkah one light (candle or oil)
is lit on the right side of the menorah, on the following night a
second light is placed to the left of the first but it is lit first,
and so on, proceeding from placing candles right to left but lighting
them from left to right over the eight nights.
Blessing for lighting the candles
 בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ
בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק
Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam, asher
kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.
Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who
has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the
Blessing for the miracles of Hanukkah
 בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים
לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם
Transliteration: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam, she'asa
nisim la'avoteinu ba'yamim ha'heim ba'z'man ha'ze.
Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who
performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time..."
After the lights are kindled the hymn Hanerot Halalu is recited. There
are several different versions; the version presented here is recited
הנרות הללו אנו מדליקין על הנסים ועל
הנפלאות ועל התשועות ועל המלחמות שעשית
לאבותינו בימים ההם, בזמן הזה על ידי
כהניך הקדושים. וכל שמונת ימי חנוכה
הנרות הללו קודש הם, ואין לנו רשות
להשתמש בהם אלא להאיר אותם בלבד כדי
להודות ולהלל לשמך הגדול על נסיך ועל
נפלאותיך ועל ישועותיך.
Hanneirot hallalu anu madlikin 'al hannissim ve'al hanniflaot 'al
hatteshu'ot ve'al hammilchamot she'asita laavoteinu bayyamim haheim,
(u)bazzeman hazeh 'al yedei kohanekha hakkedoshim. Vekhol-shemonat
Hanukkah hanneirot hallalu kodesh heim, ve-ein lanu reshut
lehishtammesh baheim ella lir'otam bilvad kedei lehodot ul'halleil
leshimcha haggadol 'al nissekha ve'al nifleotekha ve'al yeshu'otekha.
We kindle these lights for the miracles and the wonders, for the
redemption and the battles that you made for our forefathers, in those
days at this season, through your holy priests. During all eight days
Hanukkah these lights are sacred, and we are not permitted to make
ordinary use of them except for to look at them in order to express
thanks and praise to Your great Name for Your miracles, Your wonders
and Your salvations.
Main article: Ma'oz Tzur
In the Ashkenazi tradition, each night after the lighting of the
candles, the hymn
Ma'oz Tzur is sung. The song contains six stanzas.
The first and last deal with general themes of divine salvation, and
the middle four deal with events of persecution in Jewish history, and
praises God for survival despite these tragedies (the exodus from
Egypt, the Babylonian captivity, the miracle of the holiday of Purim,
Hasmonean victory), and a longing for the days when
finally triumph over Rome.
The song was composed in the thirteenth century by a poet only known
through the acrostic found in the first letters of the original five
stanzas of the song: Mordechai. The familiar tune is most probably a
derivation of a German
Protestant church hymn or a popular folk
After lighting the candles and Ma'oz Tzur, singing other Hanukkah
songs is customary in many Jewish homes. Some
Hasidic and Sephardi
Jews recite Psalms, such as
Psalms 67, and
Psalms 91. In
North America and in
Israel it is common to exchange presents or give
children presents at this time. In addition, many families encourage
their children to give tzedakah (charity) in lieu of presents for
Special additions to daily prayers
"We thank You also for the miraculous deeds and for the redemption and
for the mighty deeds and the saving acts wrought by You, as well as
for the wars which You waged for our ancestors in ancient days at this
season. In the days of the
Hasmonean Mattathias, son of Johanan the
high priest, and his sons, when the iniquitous Greco-Syrian kingdom
rose up against Your people Israel, to make them forget Your Torah and
to turn them away from the ordinances of Your will, then You in your
abundant mercy rose up for them in the time of their trouble, pled
their cause, executed judgment, avenged their wrong, and delivered the
strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of few, the
impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the
righteous, and insolent ones into the hands of those occupied with
Your Torah. Both unto Yourself did you make a great and holy name in
Thy world, and unto Your people did You achieve a great deliverance
and redemption. Whereupon your children entered the sanctuary of Your
house, cleansed Your temple, purified Your sanctuary, kindled lights
in Your holy courts, and appointed these eight days of
order to give thanks and praises unto Your holy name."
Translation of Al ha-Nissim
An addition is made to the "hoda'ah" (thanksgiving) benediction in the
Amidah (thrice-daily prayers), called Al ha-Nissim ("On/about the
Miracles"). This addition refers to the victory achieved over the
Syrians by the
Mattathias and his sons.
The same prayer is added to the grace after meals. In addition, the
Hallel (praise) (
Psalms 113 –
Psalms 118) are sung during each
morning service and the
Tachanun penitential prayers are
The Torah is read every day in the shacharit morning services in
synagogue, on the first day beginning from Numbers 6:22 (according to
some customs, Numbers 7:1), and the last day ending with Numbers 8:4.
Hanukkah lasts eight days it includes at least one, and
sometimes two, Jewish Sabbaths (Saturdays). The weekly Torah portion
for the first Sabbath is almost always Miketz, telling of Joseph's
dream and his enslavement in Egypt. The
Haftarah reading for the first
Hanukkah is Zechariah 2:14 – Zechariah 4:7. When there is a
second Sabbath on Hanukkah, the
Haftarah reading is from 1Kings 7:40
– 1Kings 7:50.
Hanukkah menorah is also kindled daily in the synagogue, at night
with the blessings and in the morning without the blessings.
The menorah is not lit during Shabbat, but rather prior to the
Shabbat as described above and not at all during the day.
Middle Ages "Megillat Antiochus" was read in the Italian
Hanukkah just as the
Book of Esther
Book of Esther is read on Purim. It
still forms part of the liturgy of the Yemenite Jews.
The last day of
Hanukkah is known by some as Zot
Hanukkah and by
others as Chanukat HaMizbeach, from the verse read on this day in the
synagogue Numbers 7:84, Zot Hanukkat Hamizbe'ach: "This was the
dedication of the altar". According to the teachings of
Hasidism, this day is the final "seal" of the High Holiday season of
Yom Kippur and is considered a time to repent out of love for God. In
this spirit, many
Jews wish each other Gmar chatimah tovah
("may you be sealed totally for good"), a traditional greeting for the
Yom Kippur season. It is taught in
Hasidic and Kabbalistic literature
that this day is particularly auspicious for the fulfillment of
Other related laws and customs
It is customary for women not to work for at least the first half-hour
of the candles' burning, and some have the custom not to work for the
entire time of burning. It is also forbidden to fast or to eulogize
Ma'oz Tzur sheet music.
A large number of songs have been written on
Hanukkah themes, perhaps
more so than for any other Jewish holiday. Some of the best known are
"Ma'oz Tzur" (Rock of Ages), "Latke'le Latke'le" (Yiddish song about
cooking Latkes), "
Hanukkiah Li Yesh" ("I Have a
"Ocho Kandelikas" ("Eight Little Candles"), "Kad Katan" ("A Small
Jug"), "S'vivon Sov Sov Sov" ("Dreidel, Spin and Spin"), "Haneirot
Halolu" ("These Candles which we light"), "Mi Yimalel" ("Who can
Retell") and "Ner Li, Ner Li" ("I have a Candle"). Among the most well
known songs in English-speaking countries are "Dreidel, Dreidel,
Dreidel" and "Oh Chanukah".
Rebbes of the Nadvorna
Hasidic dynasty, it is customary for
Rebbes to play violin after the menorah is lit.
Penina Moise's Hannukah Hymn published in the 1842 Hymns Written for
the Use of Hebrew Congregations was instrumental in the beginning of
Americanization of Hanukkah.
Potato latke frying in hot olive oil.
There is a custom of eating foods fried or baked in oil (preferably
olive oil) to commemorate the miracle of a small flask of oil keeping
the Second Temple's Menorah alight for eight days. Traditional
foods include potato pancakes, known as latkes in Yiddish, especially
among Ashkenazi families. Sephardi, Polish, and Israeli families eat
jam-filled doughnuts (Yiddish: פאנטשקעס pontshkes),
bimuelos (fritters) and sufganiyot which are deep-fried in oil.
Jews eat cheese pancakes known as "cheese latkes".
Sufganiyot / doughnuts filled with strawberry jelly
Latkes are not popular in Israel, having been largely replaced by
sufganiyot due to local economic factors, convenience and the
influence of trade unions. Bakeries in
Israel have popularized
many new types of fillings for sufganiyot besides the traditional
strawberry jelly filling, including chocolate cream, vanilla cream,
caramel, cappuccino and others. In recent years, downsized,
"mini" sufganiyot containing half the calories of the regular,
400-to-600-calorie version, have become popular.
Rabbinic literature also records a tradition of eating cheese and
other dairy products during Hanukkah. This custom, as mentioned
above, commemorates the heroism of
Judith during the Babylonian
captivity of the
Jews and reminds us that women also played an
important role in the events of Hanukkah. The deuterocanonical
Judith (Yehudit or Yehudis in Hebrew), which is not part of
the Tanakh, records that Holofernes, an Assyrian general, had
surrounded the village of Bethulia as part of his campaign to conquer
Judea. After intense fighting, the water supply of the
Jews was cut
off and the situation became desperate. Judith, a pious widow, told
the city leaders that she had a plan to save the city.
Judith went to
the Assyrian camps and pretended to surrender. She met Holofernes, who
was smitten by her beauty. She went back to his tent with him, where
she plied him with cheese and wine. When he fell into a drunken sleep,
Judith beheaded him and escaped from the camp, taking the severed head
with her (the beheading of
Judith has historically been
a popular theme in art). When Holofernes' soldiers found his corpse,
they were overcome with fear; the Jews, on the other hand, were
emboldened and launched a successful counterattack. The town was
saved, and the Assyrians defeated.
Roast goose has historically been a traditional
Hanukkah food among
Eastern European and American Jews, although the custom has declined
in recent decades.
Main article: Dreidel
Dreidels / Spinning tops in a
After lighting the candles, it is customary to play (or spin) the
dreidel. The dreidel, or sevivon in Hebrew, is a four-sided spinning
top that children play with during Hanukkah. Each side is imprinted
with a Hebrew letter which is an abbreviation for the Hebrew words
נס גדול היה שם (Nes Gadol Haya Sham, "A great miracle
happened there"), referring to the miracle of the oil that took place
in the Beit Hamikdash. On dreidels sold in Israel, the fourth side is
inscribed with the letter פ (Pe), rendering the acronym נס
גדול היה פה (Nes Gadol Haya Po, "A great miracle happened
here"), referring to the fact that the miracle occurred in the land of
Israel, although this is a relatively recent innovation. Stores in
Haredi neighborhoods sell the traditional Shin dreidels as well,
because they understand "there" to refer to the Temple and not the
entire Land of Israel, and because the
Hasidic Masters ascribe
significance to the traditional letters.
Chanukkah gelt (Yiddish for "Chanukkah money") known in
Israel by the
Hebrew translation dmei Hanukkah, is often distributed to children
during the festival of Hanukkah. The giving of
Hanukkah gelt also adds
to the holiday excitement. The amount is usually in small coins,
although grandparents or relatives may give larger sums. The tradition
of giving Chanukah gelt dates back to a long-standing East European
custom of children presenting their teachers with a small sum of money
at this time of year as a token of gratitude. One minhag favors the
fifth night of
Hanukkah for giving
Hanukkah gelt. Unlike the
other nights of Hanukkah, the fifth does not ever fall on the Shabbat,
hence never conflicting with the
Halachic injunction against handling
money on the Shabbat.
Hanukkah in the White House
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman (left, back turned to camera) in the Oval
Office, receiving a
Hanukkah Menorah as a gift from the Prime Minister
David Ben-Gurion (center). To the right is Abba Eban, the
Israel to the United States.
United States has a history of recognizing and celebrating
Hanukkah in a number of ways. The earliest
Hanukkah link with the
White House occurred in 1951 when Israeli Prime Minister David
United States President
Harry Truman with a
Hanukkah Menorah. In 1979 president
Jimmy Carter took part in the
Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony of the National Menorah
held across the
White House lawn. In 1989, President George H.W. Bush
displayed a menorah in the White House. In 1993, President Bill
Clinton invited a group of schoolchildren to the
Oval Office for a
United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service has released several Hanukkah-themed
postage stamps. In 1996 the
United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service (USPS) issued
a 32 cent
Hanukkah stamp as a joint issue with Israel. In 2004
after 8 years of reissuing the menorah design, the USPS issued a
dreidel design for the
Hanukkah stamp. The dreidel design was used
through 2008. In 2009 a
Hanukkah stamp was issued with a design
featured a photograph of a menorah with nine lit candles.
In 2001, President
George W. Bush
George W. Bush held an official
White House in conjunction with the candle-lighting ceremony,
and since then this ceremony has become an annual tradition attended
by Jewish leaders from around the country. In 2008, George Bush
linked the occasion to the 1951 gift by using that menorah for the
ceremony, with a grandson of Ben-Gurion and a grandson of Truman
lighting the candles.
In December 2014, two
Hanukkah celebrations were held at the White
White House commissioned a menorah made by students at the
Max Rayne school in
Israel and invited two of its students to join
Barack Obama and First Lady
Michelle Obama as they
welcomed over 500 guests to the celebration. The students' school in
Israel had been subjected to arson by extremists. President Obama said
these "students teach us an important lesson for this time in our
history. The light of hope must outlast the fires of hate. That’s
Hanukkah story teaches us. It’s what our young people can
teach us— that one act of faith can make a miracle, that love is
stronger than hate, that peace can triumph over conflict.”
Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, in leading prayers at the ceremony
commented on the how special the scene was, asking the President if he
believed America's founding fathers could possibly have pictured that
a female Asian-American rabbi would one day be at the White House
leading Jewish prayers in front of the African-American
Further information: Jewish and Israeli holidays 2000–2050
The dates of
Hanukkah are determined by the Hebrew calendar. Hanukkah
begins at the 25th day of
Kislev and concludes on the 2nd or 3rd day
Kislev can have 29 or 30 days). The Jewish day begins at
Hanukkah begins at sunset of the date listed.
27 November 2013
16 December 2014
6 December 2015
24 December 2016
12 December 2017
2 December 2018
22 December 2019
10 December 2020
In 2013, on 28 November, the American holiday of Thanksgiving fell
Hanukkah for only the third time since Thanksgiving was
declared a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln. The last
time was 1899; and due to the Gregorian and Jewish calendars being
slightly out of sync with each other, it will not happen again in the
foreseeable future. This convergence prompted the creation of the
portmanteau neologism Thanksgivukkah.
Second night of Hannukah at Jerusalem's Western Wall
Jewish holidays are those when all forms of work are forbidden,
and that feature traditional holiday meals, kiddush, holiday
candle-lighting, etc. Only biblical holidays fit these criteria, and
Chanukah was instituted some two centuries after the Hebrew Bible was
completed. Nevertheless, though Chanukah is of rabbinic origin, it is
traditionally celebrated in a major and very public fashion. The
requirement to position the menorah, or Chanukiah, at the door or
window, symbolizes the desire to give the Chanukah miracle a
Some Jewish historians suggest a different explanation for the
rabbinic reluctance to laud the militarism. First, the rabbis wrote
Hasmonean leaders had led
Judea into Rome’s grip and so may
not have wanted to offer the family much praise. Second, they clearly
wanted to promote a sense of dependence on God, urging
Jews to look
toward the divine for protection. They likely feared inciting
another revolt that might end in disaster, like the CE 135
With the advent of Zionism and the state of Israel, however, these
themes were reconsidered. In modern Israel, the national and military
Hanukkah became, once again, more dominant.
Jimmy Carter attends Menorah Lighting, Lafayette Park,
Washington, D.C., 1979
In North America especially,
Hanukkah gained increased importance with
many Jewish families in the latter part of the 20th century, including
among large numbers of secular Jews, who wanted a Jewish alternative
Christmas celebrations that often overlap with Hanukkah. Though
it was traditional among Ashkenazi
Jews to give "gelt" or money to
children during Hanukkah, in many families this has been supplemented
with other gifts so that Jewish children can enjoy gifts just as their
Christmas-celebrating peers do.
Hanukkah is a relatively minor Jewish holiday, as indicated by
the lack of religious restrictions on work other than a few minutes
after lighting the candles, in North America,
Hanukkah in the 21st
century has taken a place equal to
Passover as a symbol of Jewish
identity. Both the Israeli and North American versions of Hanukkah
emphasize resistance, focusing on some combination of national
liberation and religious freedom as the defining meaning of the
Jews in North America and
Israel have taken up environmental
concerns in relation to Hanukkah's "miracle of the oil", emphasizing
reflection on energy conservation and energy independence. An example
of this is the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life's
renewable energy campaign.
An entire room of Paris's Museum of Jewish Art and History is
dedicated to Hanukkah, through an exceptional collection of
Hanukkiyot, in a variety of shapes and designs, origins and periods.
This panorama stands as a metaphor for the great diversity of Jewish
customs throughout the world.
France, 14th century
France, 16th century
Germany, 17th century
Italy, 18th century
Poland, 18th century
France, 19th century
Europe, 19th century
Yemen, 20th century
Tunisia, 20th century
Israel, 20th century
Miracle of the cruse of oil
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^ Being Jewish: The Spiritual and Cultural Practice of
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^ Saadia Gaon, Introduction to Sefer Ha-Iggaron (ed. Abraham
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^ Andrew Gabriel Roth, Aramaic English New Testament, 3rd Ed., Netzari
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^ Mercer Dictionary of the Bible ed. Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey
Bullard – 1990 -"Hence
Hanukkah also is called the Feast of Lights,
an alternate title
Josephus confirms with this rationale: "And from
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suppose the reason was, because this liberty beyond our hopes appeared
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works of Flavius
Josephus translated by William Whiston)
^ a b Sacchi, Paolo (13 October 2004). "The History of the Second
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^ Old.perseus.tufts.edu[permanent dead link], Jewish War i. 34
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^ "All's Well – When it Ends". www.chabad.org.
^ "1 Macc. iv. 36". Archived from the original on 16 January
^ Telushkin, Joseph (1991). Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things
to Know about the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History. W.
Morrow. p. 114. ISBN 0-688-08506-7.
^ Johnston, Sarah Iles (2004). Religions of the Ancient World: A
Guide. Harvard University Press. p. 186.
^ Greenberg, Irving (1993). The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays. Simon
& Schuster. p. 29. ISBN 0-671-87303-2.
^ Schultz, Joseph P. (1981).
Judaism and the Gentile Faiths:
Comparative Studies in Religion. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
p. 155. ISBN 0-8386-1707-7. Modern scholarship on the other
hand considers the
Maccabean revolt less as an uprising against
foreign oppression than as a civil war between the orthodox and
reformist parties in the Jewish camp
^ Gundry, Robert H. (2003). A Survey of the New Testament. Zondervan.
p. 9. ISBN 0-310-23825-0.
^ Grabbe, Lester L. (2000). Judaic Religion in the Second Temple
Period: Belief and Practice from the Exile to Yavneh. Routledge.
p. 59. ISBN 0-415-21250-2.
David Noel; Allen C. Myers; Astrid B. Beck (2000).
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.
p. 837. ISBN 0-8028-2400-5.
^ Wood, Leon James (1986). A Survey of Israel's History. Zondervan.
p. 357. ISBN 0-310-34770-X.
^ Tcherikover, Victor (1999) . Hellenistic Civilization and the
Jews. Baker Academic. ISBN 0-8010-4785-4.
^ Skolnik, Berenbaum, Fred, Michael (2007). Encyclopaedia Judaica,
Volume 9. Granite Hill Publishers, pg 332.
^ M. Zambelli, "L'ascesa al trono di Antioco IV Epifane di Siria,"
Rivista di Filologia e di Istruzione Classica 38 (1960) 363–389
^ Newsom, Carol Ann; Breed, Brennan (2014). Daniel: A Commentary.
Presbyterian Publish Corp. p. 26
^ Josephus, Ant. xiii, 9:1., via
^ Smith, Mahlon H. "Antiochus VII Sidetes".
^ Ginzburg, Louis (1901). "Antiochus VII., Sidetes". Jewish
^ Ginzberg, Louis. "ALEXANDER JANNÆUS (Jonathan)". Retrieved
2017-12-13. Jewish Encyclopedia.
^ Ginzberg, Louis. "ALEXANDER JANNÆUS (Jonathan)". Retrieved
2017-12-13. His three years' war east of the Jordan (about 85-82) was
successful; and he conquered Pella, Dium, Gerasa, Gaulana, Seleucia,
and the strong fortress Gamala. Jewish Encyclopedia.
^ Josephus, Antiquities of the
^ Dr. Chuck Missler. "Happy Hanukkah".
Mattathias and his five sons
became the nucleus of a growing band of rebels against
^ Saundra L. Washington. God's Intertestamental Silence: Then Came
Jesus Christ. p. 14.
^ "On Hanukkah, Women As Role Models". Also in the Apocrypha is the
Book of Judith, which tells how this heroine stopped the siege of
Jerusalem by decapitating Holofernes, a major military leader for the
Judith and the
Hanukkah Story". For several centuries
there was another hero associated with Hanukkah: Judith.
^ Elizabeth A. Dice.
Christmas and Hanukkah. p. 24.
^ "Chanukah with Torah Tidbits - Jewish Holidays". Ou.org. 29 June
2006. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
Orach Chayim 670:1
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12 December 2017.
^ Skop, Yarden (24 March 2014). "Education Ministry Changes Start of
School Year - Again". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 12 December 2017 – via
^ "לוח החופשות והימים המיוחדים לשנת
תשע"ח". Edu.gov.il. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
^ "Chanukah - Its Customs". Kashrut.com. Retrieved 12 December
Orach Chayim 671:2
^ "How to Light the Menorah - Light Up Your Environment!". Chabad.org.
Retrieved 12 December 2017.
^ "The Laws of Chanukah by Rabbi Mordechai Becher". Retrieved 12
^ "Halacha L'Maaseh on Chanuka". Orthodox Union. Retrieved 2 December
^ "Why Don't Women Work While the Chanukah Candles Are Burning?".
Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
^ "Hakirah.org" (PDF). Hakirah.org. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
^ a b
Orach Chayim 673:1
^ "The following is a response from Hakham Ya". Midrash.org. Retrieved
12 December 2017.
^ "OU's Chanukah Guide - Everyday Jewish Living - Synagogue
Joshua Eli Plaut, A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to be Jewish.
Rutgers University Press, 2012. Page 167.
^ Jonathan D. Sarna, How
Hanukkah Came To The White House. Forward, 2
^ Joseph Telushkin, Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M.
Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History.
HarperCollins, 2014. Page 269.
^ Menachem Posner, 40 Years Later: How the Chanukah Menorah Made Its
Way to the Public sphere. 1 December 2014.
^ a b Ashton, Dianne (2013).
Hanukkah in America: A History. NYU
Press. p. 42–46. ISBN 9781479858958. Throughout the
nineteenth century some
Jews tried various ways to adapt
American life. As they began looking for images to help understand and
explain what a proper response to American Challenges might be,
Hanukkah became ripe for reinvention. In Charleston, South Carolina,
one group of
Hanukkah into a time for serious religious
reflexion that responded to their evangelical Protestant
milieu...[Moise's] poem gave
Hanukkah a place in the emerging
religious style of American culture that was dominated by the language
of individualism and personal conscience derived from both
Protestantism and the Enlightenment. However, neither the
Shulchan Aruch identifies
Hanukkah as a special occasion to ask
for the forgiveness of sins.
^ Babylonian Talmud:
^ Yosef, Rabbeinu Ovadia. "The Obligation of Women Regarding Chanukah
Candles : Daily Halacha Based on the Rulings of Maran Rabbeinu
Ovadia Yosef zt"l". Halachayomit.co.il. Retrieved 12 December
^ a b c d e f "Chanukah Guide". Retrieved 4 December 2015. the menorah
must contain enough fuel at the time of the lighting to burn until 30
minutes after nightfall
^ http://rabbikaganoff.com/some-light-chanukah-questions/ see
statement about lighting when people are around
^ "CTI Laws and Customs of Chanukah". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
^ "What to do on Chanukah". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
Orach Chayim 676:1–2
^ "The Lights of Chanukah: Laws and Customs - Jewish Holidays". 9
^ a b Celebrate!: The Complete Jewish Holidays Handbook. Jason
Aronson, Incorporated. 2000. ISBN 9781461627722. Retrieved
Orach Chayim 676:4
^ "Maoz Tzur: Translation & Explanation - Jewish Holidays". 29
^ "Maoz Tzur: Rock of Ages". My Jewish Learning.
Hanukkah ushers in 'tzedakah,' a religious obligation to do what is
right and just". 7 December 2012.
^ "The Fifth Night Project: Teaching Giving During Hanukkah". 11
^ Singer, Isidore (1905). "Chanukkah, or the Feast of Dedication". New
Era Illustrated Magazine. 5: 621 – via Google Books.
Orach Chayim 682:1
^ a b "Chanukah with Torah Tidbits - Jewish Holidays". 29 June
^ "Al Hanisim: Concerning the Miracles - My Jewish Learning".
^ "133. Days on Which
Tachanun is Omitted - OU Torah".
^ "Chanuka - Lighting in Shul - Torah Musings".
^ "Hanukkah's Last Light".
^ "The Laws of Chanukah". Ohr Somayach.
^ "Chanukah - Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel". As one of the most famous
Oh Chanukah (Jewish Traditional) sheet music for Trombone". Oh
Chanukah (or Oj Chanukah) is a very popular modern English Chanukah
^ Greenberg, Shlomo; Haredim, Behadrey (15 December 2012). "Belz
resumed practice of playing violin at candle lighting". bhol.co.il.
Retrieved 12 December 2017.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 January 2015.
Retrieved 5 January 2015.
^ Ashton, Dianne. "Quick to the Party: The Americanization of Hanukkah
and Southern Jewry". Southern Jewish History. 12: 1–38.
^ "The Philadelphia Jewish Voice". Pjvoice.com. 7 January 2006.
Retrieved 25 December 2011.
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^ Jeffay, Nathan (17 December 2009). "Why
Israel is a latke-free
^ Gur, Jana, The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey, pp.
238–243, Schocken (2008) ISBN 0-8052-1224-8
^ [permanent dead link]
^ Benyamina Soloveitchik, Why All the Oil and Cheese?.
^ "The Story of Yehudit - The Woman Who Saved the Day". Chabad.org.
Retrieved 12 December 2017.
Mishna Berurah 670:2:10
John Cooper, Eat and be Satisfied: A Social History of Jewish Food
(Jason Aronson, 1993), p. 192.
Florence Fabricant, Hanukkah's a-Coming: Geese Are Getting Fat, New
York Times (23 November 1994).
Jeffrey Yoskowitz, Goose: A
Hanukkah Tradition, New York Times (24
^ "The Surprising Origin of the
Dreidel - My Jewish Learning".
^ Rosenberg, Anat (14 December 2014). "Gyration Nation: The Weird
Ancient History of the Dreidel" – via Haaretz.
^ Golinkin, David. "Why Do We Give
Hanukkah Gelt and Hanukkah
Presents?", Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, 19 December 2014.
Accessed 28 December 2016.
^ Lebowitz, Aryeh. "Chanukah Gelt and Gifts", Dvarim Hayotzim Min
Halev, 11 December 2005, Volume XVII – Issue 6. Accessed 28 December
2016. "In fact, the Orchos Rabeinu in cheilek ג teaches that the
Steipler Gaon maintained the minhag of giving out Chanukah gelt davka
on the fifth night of Chanukah. Why specifically the fifth night?
Answers the Orchos Rabeinu, since the fifth night is the only night
that cannot coincide with Shabbos."
Hanukkah Came to the White House". The Jewish Daily Forward. 2
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about.usps.com. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
^ "5 Thoughts On The Furor Over The White House's
Thefederalist.com. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
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^ "A Most Inspiring
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^ Hoffman, Joel (24 November 2013). "Why
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Will Never Again Coincide". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 December
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The Best Holiday Of All Time". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 10 October
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^ "Chanukah FAQs". Chabad.org. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
^ Dianne Ashton,
Hanukkah in America: A History, New York: New York
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^ Bonna Haberman (1 October 2014). Rereading Israel: The Spirit of the
Matter. Urim Publications. pp. 152–.
^ Michael Berkowitz (2004). Nationalism, Zionism and ethnic
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Jews in 1900 and beyond [electronic resource].
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Politics of the
Maccabean Holiday". hartman.org.il. Retrieved 12
^ "Shalom Center on Hannukah and the environment".
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This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Kaufmann, Kohler (1901–1906). "ḤANUKKAH".
In Singer, Isidore; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk &
Ashton, Dianne (2013).
Hanukkah in America: A History. New York: New
York University Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-0739-5.
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