Hanukkah 2014 - The Jewish Festival of Lights Signifies Hope, Peace and Olive Oil

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Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday, which roughly coincides with Christmas, commemorating the rededication of the Holy Jewish Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE.

During the Hanukkah festival, which is celebrated for seven nights and starts on the 25th of the month of Kislev, the Jewish month that coincides with November or December in the Gregorian calendar, Jewish people around the world light a candelabra (Menorah) according to each day of Hanukkah. For example, on the first night, one candle is light, on the second night, two candles, and so forth.

In Judaism, Hanukkah is considered also to be a festival of miracles, following the story of the small group of proud Jews called the Maccabees (Macabim in Hebrew) which fought the larger Greek army that occupied The Holy Land at the time.

According to tradition, after the second temple was plundered by the invading armies, one small container of olive oil was left unspoiled in the temple, with all the others being spoiled or pillaged by the invaders. When used to light the Menorah (candelabra), the lone container, which was only supposed to last for one day, kept the flames miraculously glowing for eight full days.

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