Happy Hanukkah Dates 2018 Meaning: Hanukkah is the day on which the Rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem took place at the time of Mecca bean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.
According to the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah starts from the 25th day of Kislev. According to the Gregorian calendar, it is observed at the ending of the November or December month.
Happy Hanukkah Dates 2018
Hanukkah is also known as the festival of lights or Feast of Dedication. It is the festival of light. Hanukkah is nothing but light.
Happy Hanukkah Celebration:
The festival is celebrated by lighting some branched candlesticks called the Hanukiah. The festival is observed for eight long days and so the nine candles are lit every night, there being an extra one left which is lit at the last night of Hanukkah. The ninth candle which is an extra one is given a special position.
It is generally placed above or below the other eight candles. The other rituals followed on these days is playing dreidel which is a special game played mostly by the children of the family. People prepare some oil based foods and enjoy eating them. The cuisines consist mostly of doughnuts and latkes.
What is meant by Hanukkah?
The word Hanukkah is derived from a particular Hebrew word that means ‘To dedicate’. On the day of Hanukkah, the Jews of Mecca bean had established the control over Jerusalem again and rededicated the Temple. Many legendary explanations are given regarding the same.
The holiday for Hanukkah begins on the day which the Jews stopped fighting on the 25th day of Kislev. This relates to a fact that Hanukkah means “they rested on the 25th”.
Hanukkah is also the Hebrew acronym for the phrase:
“Eight candles and the halakha are like the House of Hillel”. There was a disagreement between the two rabbinical schools of thought, the houses of Hillel and Shammai. There were disputed between them for the issue that in which order the Hanukkah flames should be lit.
Happy Hanukkah Shammai:
The Shammai opted for a solution that the eight candles should be lit on the first night of Hanukkah, on the next day seven of them should be lit, and accordingly decreasing the number by one candle up to the last night, since they believed the miracle to be the greatest on the first day.
Whereas the Hillel decided to go for an increasing order of candles to be lit every night, the reason being that they believed that miracles grew in greatness every night. The Jewish law then went for adopting the thoughts of the house of Hillel.
Hanukkah is celebrated with a series of rituals performed every day for all of the 8 days. Holidays are observed on these whole 8 long days. Some of the customs are family-based and whereas some community-based ones.
Special additions are made to the daily prayer service, and after the meals that take place after the service, a special section is added to the blessing. Each night throughout the 8-day holiday, a candle or an oil-based light is lit.
Happy Hanukkah Shamash:
As a universally practiced “beautification” (hiddur mitzvah) of the mitzvah, and as per the Jewish law, 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 positioned distinctly, usually higher, lower, or to the side of the others.
The purpose of providing the Shamash is for the prevention against using the Hanukkah lights for anything other than publicizing and meditating on the Hanukkah miracle. This differs from Sabbath candles 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. Ashkenazim light the Shamash candle first and then use it to light the others. So all the candles 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.
So in all, totally 44, in fact 36, except the Shamash are lit until the last eight day of the Hanukkah festival arrives. It is a custom not to light the Shamash first and use it to light the rest. Rather, the Shamash candle is lit at the last and. A different candle or a matchstick is used to light all the candles. Some Jews follow this custom as well.
Daily prayers are arranged in the Jewish temples or homes after the candles are lit by the Jews. The prayers commonly consist of the following words:
“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 people Israel, to make them forget Torah and to turn them away from the ordinances, then abundant mercy rose up for them in the time of their trouble, pled their because, 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 your self did you make a great and holy name in the world, and 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 Hanukkah in order to give thanks and praises unto your holy name.”
Celebration with singing a song, gifts:
After the prayers are done, Hanukkah songs are sung. Some Jews recite Psalms (Psalms 30, Psalms 67, and Psalms 91, etc.). The people who gather at the temple or at ones place, exchange special gifts. Especially children of the family are presented with surprising gifts. This is one of the most common customs followed by the Israeli or North American people. Happy Hanukkah