Thought For The Day – Monday 19th December 2022
Happy Hanukkah to the Jewish community at this special time.
The Jewish Festival of Hanukkah or Chanukah (meaning rededication) began last evening and lasts for eight days.
It remembers the time when the Jews reclaimed the Temple of God from King Antiochus (who had put a statue of himself in the Temple, stole the holy lamp and declared Judaism and reading the Torah illegal). After reclamation, a lamp was lit in the Temple as a symbol of the rededication and God’s presence. The lamp miraculously burnt for eight days on just one day’s worth of oil.
Jews celebrate Hanukkah with food, presents and games like dreidel.
A dreidel is a cube-shaped dice with a Hebrew letter on each of the four sides. Each player has objects, often raisins or sweets, puts one object in the middle and takes a turn at spinning the dreidel. The letter that the dreidel shows when it has finished spinning determines whether they win or lose that round.
Food, like latkes (a potato fritter), pancakes and doughnuts, is fried in oil, remembering the miracle of the oil lasting eight days in the Temple.
Jews also light a menorah called a Hanukkiah, where 8 lights represent the 8 days and the 9th light, “the helper”, lights the others and represents the importance of spreading the light to others.
Who will we help and spread light to this holiday season?