Chanukah is a Jewish holiday with eight days of thanksgiving, instituted by the sages of Israel at the time of the Second Temple to commemorate the victory of the Hasmonean Revolt, the re-inauguration of the Temple and the miracle of the oil.
Date of holiday – when is the holiday celebrated?
The holiday is celebrated in the eight days from the 5th of Kislev until the 2nd of Tevet or the 3rd of Tevet, because the month of Kislev is 30 days and sometimes 29 days, according to changes in the Jewish calendar year.
What is the origin of the name of Chanukah?
The source of the name of Chanukah is – on behalf of Hanukkah, apparently on Hanukkah from the dedication of the altar, which was held after the conquest and purification of the Temple by the Maccabees, which commemorates the date of the holiday. There were those who demanded the name of the holiday as the initials – eight candles and Halacha as the House of Hillel. (Halacha as the House of Hillel that each day adds a candle, and does not diminish, according to the Beit Shammai method).
Additional names for Chanukah
Another name for these days, less common, is the “holiday of the birds,” which was first documented by the historian Josephus. For the holiday there are additional names: “Heroic Day” – in commemoration of the heroism of the Maccabees, “The Feast of Miracles” – in commemoration of the miracle of the oil can, “the holiday of the Maccabees”.
The feast of the Urim for what?
Why celebrate Hanukkah?
In 167 BCE, the Hasmoneans began to lead the uprising against the Seleucid rule of the Land of Israel, known as the “Hasmonean Revolt,” against the backdrop of decrees of destruction, prohibitions imposed by the foreign government on Jewish observance. In 164 BCE (the third year of the Hebrew calendar in the Hebrew calendar), the rebels succeeded in liberating Jerusalem and the Temple from the rule of the Greeks and the Greeks, under whose rule the Temple had been operating for three years.
The holiday in the sources
The first sources that tell of the historical events and the determination of Hanukkah as a holiday are the books of the Maccabees (Maccabees) 1 and 2. These are two external books that are not included in the Bible, which have been preserved in the Greek language over the years and have been translated into Hebrew in modern times.
The history and character of the holiday
Chanukah was determined by the Hasmoneans to mark their victory over the Greeks, and as a Jew and a joy for the renewal of holy service in the Temple. The primary character of the holiday was both religious and national. Thanks to the Hasmonean heroism, Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem was renewed and the dedication of the altar was made possible.
During the exile, the sages of Israel rejected any attempt to renew Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel by force, and the emphasis on the festival was transferred to the religious aspect. The miracle of the cruse of oil became the main motif of the holiday, from which the symbols and customs of the holiday were derived.
In the modern era, the Zionist movement adopted the national aspect of the holiday and limited the religious aspect. Chanukah became a symbol of Jewish heroism and the ability of the Jewish people to defeat its enemies, defeat assimilation and renew its sovereignty in the Land of Israel.