There are no ifs, ands, or buts, it is officially the holiday season now. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we are now deep into the holiday merry-go-round that is December. The first holiday on our agenda is Hanukkah, and this weekend it will arrive. Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, comes on the 25th day of the month Kislev. For those of us not up-to-date on our Jewish calendars, that means this weekend.
This year, Hanukkah begins at sundown on Saturday December 8, and lasts until Sunday December 16. In Hebrew, Hanukkah means "dedication" and the holiday commemorates the rededication of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem back in the second century B.C. Nearly 2,300 years ago Jews rose up against their Greek and Syrian oppressors in what was known as the Maccabean Revolt. During that time, the Maccabees wanted to rededicate the aforementioned Second Jewish Temple which was located right near where their revolution had unfolded. To dedicate the temple they lit an Eternal Light with only enough oil to last them one day. Miraculously, the flame lasted for eight nights.
In modern day Hanukkah, the tradition to light candles on the nine branched Menorah pays respect to that history. So mark your calendars for December 8th, the 25th day of the month of Kislev (aka Hanukkah) is here.