Hanukkah: Festival of Lights

At sunset, Jews around the world will begin the celebration of the Festival of Lights, known as Hanukkah. It’s a commemoration of the re-dedication of the temple during the second century BC, when Jews defeated Seleucid armies in the Maccabean Revolt.

The nightly lighting of the menorah is a significant part of the holiday. In the modern menorah, there are nine candle holders. The center flame is used to light each of the other eight during the eight-day celebration. Each day, sections of Numbers 7:1–8:4 is read from the Torah, and families recite the Hallel—the praise and gratitude-themed psalms, 113–118. “Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD; praise the name of the LORD” (113:1, NRSV).

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