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Origin Of Holidays

The History of Hanukkah

Begins at sundown like all Jewish holy days. This is the celebration of lights. This occasion commemorates a victory the Jews had in 165 BC in a battle with the Syrians.

Alexander the Great conquered many territories during his reign, including Israel which became part of Syria. The Jews resisted the beliefs of the Syrian army occupying the land. Such practices as child sacrifice, protitution, and sex with children made the Jews repulsed at the thought of conversion.

In 199 BC, laws were passed to take away and make illegal the practices of the Jewish faith. The Greeks have also defiled the Jewish temples with symbols of their gods.

Due to Mattiyahu's refusal to perform acts of worship to the Greek religion, a rebellion broke out to eject the followers of Hellinism. Wanting to rededicate the temple, they found a problem, not enough special oil to light the Menorah which was used in temple services.

A single bottle of oil was found which would normally last only one night. It was a miracle, but this bottle lasted for eight nights until oil could be properly made to dedicate the temple.

In observation, the Menorah is lit, one candle per night, to acknowledge the events when the Hebrews made right with God.