8 Days Of Chanukah (Hanukkah) - A Jewish Festival

December 20 - 28, 2011
December 20 - 28, 2011

Celebrate Hanukkah 2011

On Tuesday evening (Dec. 20) light one candle on your menorah

Menorah Lighting Instructions »»

Chanukah (Hanukkah) Begins On Dec 20 2011

Jewish Calender Holiday Date

The literal word for Chanukah (Hanukkah) is dedication. Jews around the world on this holiday light the menorah on the eve of the 25th of Kislev. A Jewish holiday that is also known as The Festival of Lights is a celebration of both a historic event and a miraculous story that is dedicated to those who came before us. It is a Jewish holiday that marks the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materiality.

December 20 - 28, 2011

Why Chanukah

The story of Chanukah is found in the Talmud. The year is 167 BCE and the horrible persecution of the Judaism by the Greeks was in full swing. In the town of Mod'in a village east of Jerusalem, a band of Greek troops marched in and demanded that the Jews sacrifice a pig to the Greek Gods. The Greeks, led by a man named, Antiochus IV. He had an army of at least 40,000 trained men and a herd of war elephants (the tanks of the ancient world) .

Matisyahu - One Day (Video)

Hishtory Of Chanukah

During the time that Chanukah Hanukah was born there was a man who spoke for the Jews and his name was Matityahu. He stood up and said No to the Greeks for they wanted the Jews to assimilate. And so as the story goes Matitiyahu along with his son Judah nicknamed Maccabee ("The Hammer"), with an army of maybe 12,000 courageous took to the hills of Judea in open revolt against this threat to Jewish life. What the Jews lacked in training and equipment they made up for in spirit.

For after 3 years of fighting, the Jews were able to re conquer Jerusalem. And when they got there they found that the Temple was defiled in the most horrific ways. When Judah and his followers finished cleaning the Temple, they wanted to light the eternal light, known as the N'er Tamid, which is present in every Jewish house of worship. Once lit, the oil should never be extinguished. But there was only one vial of pure oil with the special seal that was found. They then used this oil to light the menorah, and a they witnessed a miracle, for this oil burned for 8 days, by which time fresh pure oil was pressed and delivered to the Temple..

Light the Chanukah Menorah

tradition to light the Menorah each of the 8 Nights of the Festival of Lights
tradition to light the Menorah each of the 8 Nights of the Festival of Lights

Chanukha Hanukkah

Jewish Holiday

And so, on the 25 of Kislev, the Maccabees purified the Temple and rededicated it. From then on, Jews have observed the holiday of Chanukah or Hanukkah for eight days in honor of this historic victory and the miracle of the oil.

Today, the observance of Chanukah (sometimes spelled Hanukkah) features the lighting of a special Chanukah menorah (sometimes called a Hanukkiah) with eight branches plus a helper candle called the Shamash , adding one new candle each night. The Shamash candle is used to light the other eight candles since you should not use the Chanukkah lights for any purpose other than viewing.

Candles are lit from left to right using the shamash.

Chanukah Traditions

Full of traditional foods for Chanukah, latkes and jelly donuts
Full of traditional foods for Chanukah, latkes and jelly donuts

Things I love about

Chanukah (Hanukkah)

  • Spinning the Dreidel (a top with Hebrew letters on the sides),
  • Eating "oily" foods like Potato Latkes (pancakes)
  • Sufganiyot (jelly donuts),
  • Giving Chanukah Gelt (coins) to children
  • Adam Sandler and his Chanukah Song

8 Crazy Nights

Latkes for Chanukah
Latkes for Chanukah

Nana's Chanukah Latkes

6 potatoes
1 onion
4 eggs
3 tbsps. matza meal
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Grate by hand potatoes and onion. Add eggs and then dry ingredients. Fry in hot oil. Replace 2 of the potatoes with zucchini for lighter pancakes.

I love to eat them dipped in applesauce and some people like them with sour cream and some people like them with just salt!

Chanukah Jelly Donuts

DOUGHNUTS (SUFGANIYOT) Jelly Donuts
DOUGHNUTS (SUFGANIYOT) Jelly Donuts

Jelly Doughnuts

“SUFGANIYOT"

2 oz yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup margarine, melted
3 eggs
5 cups flour
jelly for filling
powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all ingredients into a soft dough.
Let rise for 2 hours.
Punch down and roll out.
Cut into 3-inch rounds.
Fill half the rounds with jelly, and wet the edges.
Top with another circle and seal well.
Let rise at least 20 minutes.
Fry in very hot oil.
Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain.
Dust with powdered sugar.

The Four Sides of the Dreidel

From right - Hey, and Shin
From right - Hey, and Shin
From Right - Nun, Gimmel
From Right - Nun, Gimmel

The Dredel Game - How To Play

I Have A Little Dreidel

A dreidel has one Hebrew letter on each side. Outside of Israel, those letters are: נ (Nun), ג (Gimmel), ה (Hay) and ש (Shin), which stand for the Hebrew phrase "Nes Gadol Haya Sham." This phrase means "A great miracle happened there [in Israel]."

How to Play the Dreidel Game

Any number of people can play the dreidel game. At the beginning of the game each player is given an equal number of gelt pieces or candy, usually 10-15.

At the beginning of each round, every player puts one piece into the center "pot." They then take turns spinning the dreidel, with the following meanings assigned to each of the Hebrew letters:

  • Nun means "nichts," which means "nothing" in Yiddish. If the dreidel lands with a nun facing up the spinner does nothing.
  • Gimmel means "ganz," which is Yiddish for "everything." If the dreidel lands with the gimmel facing up the spinner gets everything in the pot.
  • Hey means "halb," which means "half" in Yiddish. If the dreidel lands with a hey facing up the spinner gets half of the pot.
  • Shin means "shtel," which is Yiddish for "put in." Pey means "pay." If the dreidel lands with either a shin or a pey facing up the player adds a game piece to the pot.

If a player runs out of game pieces they are "out."

Don't Let The Light Go Out

MY CHANUKAH WISH



May the light of our souls increase and may we bring that light to our learning, our relationships and our communities.

Chanukah 2008

When is Chanukah in 2011

Chanukah in 2011 will start on Tuesday, the 20nd of December and will continue for 8 days until Thursday, the 9th of December.

Note that in the Jewish calander, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Jews will celebrate Chanukah on the sunset of Wednesday, the 1st of December.

Dont Let The Light Go Out

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Comments 44 comments

Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

Happy Hanukkah! The Adam Sandler song has always been a favorite of mine. The holidays are a special time of the year for all religions. Peace...


Right Black profile image

Right Black 6 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

Wavegirl22, Oh how I love being educated! Excellent hub. Thanks


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Jai- Adam Sandler and his 8 crazy nights have always made me laugh . .I can listen to all three verses many times over . . not easy being Jewish at this time of year and he puts some good humor in it. Glad you came by to take a look at this one . .

sending you lots of love and light

Right Black - I love your attitude. . .and I concur with your thoughts. .what better gift is there then to learn .. and we can only learn when we share. . thanks so much for coming by and checking this one out!

love and light

Shari


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Very cool, Shari. Thanks so much for sharing this! I think that the story of Chanukah was shared with me a long time ago when I was a kid in elementary school but then it was forgotten with the passing of time. Thanks for reminding me of it :D I'm going to attempt to make those Latkes (actually, I'm a decent cook-would you believe it?)

Happy Chanukah Shari!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Glad you liked it my friend. And yes I would believe that you are a decent cook . .I would even bet that you are an amazing cook. . sticky rice. . 15 minute pork chops . i bet that is just the tip of the iceberg .. Let me know how your latkes come out. .

And a happy Chanukah to you. .

&hearts and light


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV.

If I was going to be religious, I would lean heavily toward one that incorporates jelly donuts and gambling for candy into its holidays.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Eye .. If you like this one you may like the next one that comes. . Purim where we are commanded to eat, drink and be merry! I'' be sure not to miss doing a Hub on that one:)

Thanks for coming by and checking this one out!


ralwus 6 years ago

Well happy Chanukah! I enjoyed this little history lesson as well as the new tidbits I wasn't aware of. You need to visit CrisA's new hub, you are a nominee. Best new hubber! Woot! I will keep my eye out for Purim. LOL


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

ralwus .. i was just writing a list of my favorite hubbers and on that list. . what i wrote about you .. is this :do i need words for this wonderful man. .i just want to go into the computer and squeeze him to death" how uncanny was that when I finished that line I get a bing to come over and see this. . .thanks for the heads up BIGTIME on the new Hubber thing . .I am beyond words. .. but I will say it again .. I can never get enough of you!!!!

Happy Chanukah my friend .. and you better come back for Purim . . the drinks are on me :)


ralwus 6 years ago

I shall return. If only, I kiss ya right on the nose and tickle ya with me mustache too. A nice ole hug would be wunnerful as well. I have a knee and some sippin whiskey for ya. Ooo, yer almost naked shoulder is a turn on. LOL Good thing I am too old and married, I'd have to drive to NYC and take ya out to a ballgame. Have yerself a great holiday now, I'll be dreaming of you I'm sure. hugs Little Bit and flutterby kisses. Charlie


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

if you could only see the smile spread across my face right about now . .and even if you do say that to all the girls. . when you say it to me . .I am the only one ;)

&hearts &hearts &hearts to my charlie &hearts &hearts &hearts


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV.

You two need to get a room. And a video camera.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

lol . .EYE.....you making the arrangements???


ralwus 6 years ago

I think I shall convert. How so I do that? Still, I am married to an Irish woman and she will not allow me to. I could still come to NYC maybe.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Ha ha By the time the Rabbis let you convert (you have to be turned away 3 times) your Irish wife will have so deep in...... A trip to NYC sounds a lot safer ;)


ralwus 6 years ago

LOL, that's what I though too. She can stay here with the dogs and Parrot. hehe


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

and you know what they say. . theres nothing like Christmas in NY. . is the best time of the year!


ralwus 6 years ago

Hey, I forgot, go here and you can vote as well and see who else is pulling for you.

http://hubpages.com/community/hub-to-have-awards-2


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

oy vey rawl. . what do i say .. its rare i am at a loss for words. . but im a little shy (not often) and I must be blushing like a red tomatoe!!!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

awww ral ure the best!


Himitsu Shugisha profile image

Himitsu Shugisha 6 years ago

You see, this hub is what's great about this community. Prior to reading this I knew very little about Chanukah. This was very interesting, and further proves you're a lady many talents!!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Himitsu Shugisha .. my nana always told me its a good thing to learn a new thing everyday :) Glad you stopped by. . its always nice to see you my friend &hearts


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

hmmm donuts yum yum yum, nice hub wave and for the explanations too about Chanuka, and the history too, Now I know, have a great day, and sorry NYG lost last nite,,,Maita


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

yep they lost :) but there is light .. there is always light my pretty friend . . hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

xoxox'

shari


LizzyBoo profile image

LizzyBoo 6 years ago from Czech Republic

Shari - thank you so much for this hub. I did not know a lot about Chanuka. It is not common in Czech. Thank you very much for introduction. I like your hub very much. Thank you for the Adam Sandler. He knows I love him so much.lol- WELL DONE! xoxoxoxox Lizzy


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

That is what is so wonderful about Hubpages. . when you least expect it you learn something new! I love Adam Sandler too.., he always makes me laugh. . and he says it best when it comes to Chanukah .. Glad you stopped by and enjoyed this

xoxox


LizzyBoo profile image

LizzyBoo 6 years ago from Czech Republic

I always stop by in your hubs. I dive in them a lot! LOL


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

You truly are my Boo :)


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

Well a happy Chanukah to you Shari !And by the way I am always down for a jelly donut!:D


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

I wish you were here . or actually rather be where you are. . we are bracing in for a blizzard. . and it was by you , you know I would be over with a big box of donuts..and tons of chocolate gelt!

Always nice to see you .. love a bolt of a good charger :)


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

You are Invited ! I will even allow you to watch the Giants ! :D


Jess Killmenow profile image

Jess Killmenow 6 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

Great Chanuka hub! Really excellent with the videos and recipes and everything. Thank you


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

im bringing tony some donuts . .should i add you to the stops "P

really happy you came by for a little holiday cheer!!! I like your aura Jess, ,


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

lololololollolololololololo now thequestion is will i want to watch?????


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

You can watch the Chargers game instead. And I make a killer guacamole!:D


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Im ready . .ha the limo should be here any minute...brewskies should be nice and cold just the way you like them and I got my jack daniels ready . . . what a great idea to add some guacaole!!! Now all we need is the Chargers to keep doing what they are doing. . cause doesnt look like my Jints are going to make it to our party ;)


bearclawmedia profile image

bearclawmedia 6 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

Thanks meshuganah, I looked of the mezuzah on your site. Could not find one so I thought it safe to steal your recipes. I love the jewish kitchen and your famous sense of humour. Good hub mate! . Kind regards Bearclaw.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

You got that right. . I am somewhat of a meshuganah .. at times of course! Ah but you should taste my chicken soup! The Jewish kitchen is good of course my favorite is Italian but the Jewish kitchen does have some really good specialties . .and jelly donuts are by far one of the best. . .the latkes are too bad either! Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you do use the recipes someday;)


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 6 years ago from USA or America

I'm not much on the religious stuff, but I'll give you credit for a great presentation. Well done. :)


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Ray - Interesting that you called this religious .. .it is a story taken from history that speaks of survival. Thank you for the thumbs up and I am even happier that you liked my presentation ;))))


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 6 years ago from USA or America

To me it's religious, because it deal with older versions of religious rituals. That is why I classified it as that. And, you're welcome. :)


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Ray . . and I thank you for your time in responding but still it is part of history .. and since there were no light bulbs they needed the lights to be lit. . and I thank you again for coming by. . this was a special hub for me. .


livelonger profile image

livelonger 6 years ago from San Francisco

great Hub, Shari! This past December was my first Hanukkah, so the experience is still fresh and your wonderful hub helped me relive it. :)


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

livelonger - there is nothing like good memories .. especially ones filled with light ;) which summarizes this most special holiday of Chanukah . . interesting that your first holiday in the year was my first Hub on the Jewish Holidays .. just think when we get to the High Holy Days we will have completed the year . .I love that I am getting to Hub each one of them while in the process meeting great new friends . . like you !!!

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