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).

Share

More Book Minute Features

June 17, 2019

The Catacombs

Some of the earliest known examples of Christian art portraying biblical figures are actually underground. In miles of tunnels outside the walls of Ro...
June 10, 2019

Shavuot

Shavuot—the Feast of Weeks, is celebrated seven weeks after Passover—commemorating the first fruits of the harvest, associated with the giving of the...
June 03, 2019

Going Into D-Day With the Bible

In the hours before the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944—D-Day—troops were preparing to land on a 50-mile stretch of French coastline. T...