Hannukah, chanukah, hanukkah, or chanukkah – however you spell it – means Dedication.
Hannukah is the eight day celebration of the victory of a small band of ‘guerrilla’ fighters over the vast army of the Assyrian Greeks in 165 BCE. The Greeks wanted everyone in their empire to live the Greek way, from food, to dress, to religion. Among other things they did in this attempt was to desecrate the Jewish Temple. When the Jews under the leadership of Judah Maccabee won against all odds, they wanted to give thanks to God. They found only enough oil in the Temple to last one day, but it lasted the full 8 days it took to produce (or get – the story varies) more oil. And voila! A holiday was born.
At Temple Beth Israel we celebrate the holiday with our annual Sisterhood latke feed. We schmooze, we eat, we listen to a story and light as many menorahs as we can without burning down the Temple! That is, we ask everyone to bring their menorahs and we light them together. Check the calendar for the date of this year’s Hannukah party.