Happy First Night of Hanukkah 2014

Hanukkah 2014 Menorah - eighth night

The center candle of the menorah is used to light one of the
other candles each night for eight nights.
(Photo by Robert Couse Baker)

To celebrate the first night of Hanukkah 2014, Everlasting Footprint brings you a brief history of this important and festive Jewish holiday. Culture, heritage, and legacy abound in the stories of all our families, and when you and your family light your Hanukkah 2014 candles, remember how important it is to celebrate life together.

Brief History of Hanukkah

Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew, and the ceremony is often also known as the “festival of lights.” For eight nights, Jews lights candles to commemorate the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem after it was occupied by the Syrians in 168 BCE.

In 175 BCE, Syria conquered the Hebrew city of Jerusalem, which had been under Egyptian rule. In an effort to assimilate the Jews, the Syrians outlawed Jewish worship and insisted the people only pay tribute to Greek gods. In 168 BCE, the Syrians occupied the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and dedicated it to the worship of the Greek god, Zeus.

Led by Mattathias and his five sons, a Jewish rebellion fought back and reclaimed Jerusalem for the Hebrews in 165 BCE. After retaking the Temple, the Jews wished to relight their sacred candelabra – called a menorah – but only had enough oil to keep it lit for one night. Miraculously, the menorah stayed lit for eight nights, allowing the Jews time to make more oil and re-dedicate the Temple to God properly.

Hanukkah 2014 marks the 2,182nd anniversary of this festive Jewish holiday. It is celebrated from December 16 through December 24 this year, although the dates vary every year. Of course, things have changed since the first Hanukkah celebration, but Hanukkah remains an important annual celebration for Jewish people around the world.

At EF, we love history, and it is our mission to promote remembrance of the stories of individuals who change the course of history every day. Beginning today, the first day of Hanukkah 2014, celebrate life together with us at Everlasting Footprint.

About Cortni Merritt

Managing Editor, Cortni Merritt, MA, reads everything she comes across. She has degrees in both psychology and English, and has been a composition instructor, and a copywriter for lawyers, a coordinator at a dating service, and a property manager of apartments. Cortni makes it her mission to read people's stories.

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