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Jewish Holy Day Essay

933 words - 4 pages

Hanukkah

Hanukkah
Hanukkah an eight-day celebration by the Jew's. This Jewish holiday is a rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem. Hanukkah means dedication is Hebrew language and begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. This holiday normally falls in between November and December on the American calendar. People celebrate Hanukkah with lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games, and gifts.
Story behind the meaning
Hanukkah was inspired by a terrible event that took place around 200 B.C. Judea, the land of Israel, had became controlled by Antiochus III. Antiochus III was the king of Syria. He let the Jew's keep practicing their religion but his son, ...view middle of the document...

This inspired them to start an eight-day festival. The tradition revolved around a nine branch candelabra called chanukkiah in Hebrew. During the eight-day celebration, one candle is lit after sun down each night by the ninth candle. The ninth candle is called Shamash or also known as the helper. The Jew's will gather and sing songs and blessings as the display the menorah the their window in the remembrance of the Jewish miracle. Over the years, the celebrations of Hanukkah as changed is different households. Some people celebrate this Jewish holiday by passing out gifts and spinning four-sides tops (dreidels). Although, others just do fried oil foods and jelly filled donuts. In recent years, the Hanukkah holiday as blown up to the major scene because it is so close to Christmas, but it still does not get a much recognition by people getting off work or schools closing.
Religious Practices
This year, Hanukkah will be held between November 27th and December 5th. Back then the Jew's used the menorah and in recent years they have been using the chanukkiah. The candles are added to the chanukkiah branches from right to left, but they are lit from left to right. As the Jew's light their candles, they say a prayer together. This prayer could be recited after the candle is lit as well. Once the candle(s) are lit, they must stay on the branches of the chanukkiah. They cannot be used for any other purpose. The Jew's have a high respect level for their holiday because of the history and background that came with it. They practice this every year around different times because the calendar days always change. The Jew's celebrate this holiday like others but in a different way. They play games, gives gifts, cook food, and say...

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