Attn Newcomers: You may wish to read the Overview post first.


More Jewish Holidays: "Hanukkah", always near Christmas time.

(You may wish to read the "Overview" Section of this Blog First!)

Hanukkah, the Jewish "Festival of Lights", is in short the celebration of when the ancient Hebrews only had enough lamp oil to burn one night.

In the days of Judas Maccabaeus (Judah Maccabee), the Syrian ruler Antiochus began forbidding the observance of Judaism. His men went to a town called Modiin, in which there was a high Hebrew priest named Mattathias, of the family known as Maccabee. He had five sons; the most prominent in history is Judah. When the soldiers tried to force the priests to sacrifice a pig in the temple, which was of course, strictly against all of God's Levitical dietary laws, it started a civil war. The Jews looked to the Maccabees for leadership.

Judah led a march on Jerusalem and took the temple back. After they cleansed the temple, the Maccabees re-lit the Menorah (candle stand) and were said to have enough oil only for one night. But the oil burned for eight days, and so they made an eight-day holiday to celebrate the right to shine their light for God.

Today, Hanukkah is celebrated by the giving of a gift to family members on each of the 8 nights! What a deal, huh? There are traditional Hanukkah Games such as "The Dredyl Game" and traditional Holiday Recipes, especially "Latkes" - Potato Pancakes (links lead to descriptions at my Political and Fun Stuff blog on

Is there significance in Hanukkah for Christians?
Jesus is the Light of the World. He is our Eternal Light. We celebrate his birth at Christmas, and Hanukkah is also in December. As the secular world is fiercely against any outward form of Christian expression today just as Antiochus wanted to forbid the ancient Jews, we can look to Jesus - not just for enough light for 8 days, but forever (John 12:46).