Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival celebrated in the winter. Outside of Israel, the festival is often considered as the Jewish equivalent to Xmas but this does not do justice to this wonderful festival that is a festival in its own right, with its own history, symbolism and traditions. Unfortunately, as with many other religions, Hanukkah has been commercialized and each year we find another Hanukkah accessory that we “simply can’t live without.” Sometimes, one just needs to go back to the roots and renew the appreciation for a festival in the simplest way, in order to realize the preciousness of it so we would like to present a list of ten lesser known facts about this wonderful festival, in the hope that it will bring back some of the glory to this special eight-day-period. Continue reading
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Another Hanukkah, another Gift-Fest?
Hanukkah 5763 (or 2012 according to the non-Jewish calendar) is rolling around and before long we will be racking our brains for appropriate holiday gifts. It has become customary to give gifts on the wintery festival of Hanukkah that celebrates the incredible victory of the band of Jewish guerilla fighters known as the Maccabees who fought against the mighty Greek army. Continue reading
Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival that is celebrated in the Hebrew month of Kislev has taken on a different character in different communities around the world. Due to the long two-thousand year exile from the land of Israel, the Jewish people lived in different countries and over time these different communities celebrated the Jewish holidays with slightly different twists. Today, as the Jewish people return to their homeland it is fascinating to discover the different customs that evolved around the world in different Jewish communities. Here are eight different customs for each one of the eight nights of Chanukah… Continue reading