Beliefnet
You say you’ve always wondered what Hanukkah is all about?

A traditional menorah

Well, during a time of terrible conflict in Israel, there wasn’t enough oil to keep the lights on in Jerusalem’s Temple. But by God’s miracle, darkness did not prevail. So, to remember what happened: the Festival of Lights — Hanukkah or Chanukkah (but the “c” is silent).

A rabbi might wrinkle his brow and say there’s a lot more to the story — that in 165 BC, Jewish rebels led by Judah Maccabeus defeated the occupying Greek army and rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Finding only one jar of pure oil, they lit the sacred menorah, which miraculously burned for eight days.

Also — 1,100 years earlier — Moses and the Jewish people completed construction of the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary that accompanied them during 40 years of wandering in the desert.

In memory of those two events, annually Jews around the world light a menorah, to commemorate the miracle of the oil, and its message that continues to illuminate our lives today.

Does Hannukah always occur on Christmas? No. Jewish holidays are governed by the traditional Hebrew lunar calendar. Hanukkah always begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, but since dates fluctuate on the lunar calendar, the first day of the holiday can

fall anywhere between Nov. 28 and Dec. 26.

To help you understand Hanukkah better, here is a musical version, provided by the irrepresible improvisational humor group, HaHafuch: 

 

Who or what is this singing group that calls itself "HaHafuch?" They describe themselves as Israel’s premiere English-speaking comedy troupe.

“Our goal is to make people see the funny side of life in Israel,” they explain. ”We are the only comedy troupe bringing humor to an English-speaking audience in their native tongue; of course Israelis can always have a laugh too. Remember, Israel is funny. And if you don’t think so then you haven’t seen our show.

 ”It seems like every time you open the newspaper, turn on the news, or listen to the radio, in any country, even Israel, all you hear about is politics or prisoner swaps. But living in Israel is more than what you see on CNN.

“Our comedy troupe provides the other side of Israeli life, the daily dramas of bureaucracy, cafes, traffic jams, political troubles and more. And we do it through humor using improvisation, sketches, videos and music to let the world know that it’s OK to laugh at Israel and in fact there are a lot of funny things happening here.

”We do public performances, private parties, comedy improvisation workshops, special workshops for companies, weddings, Bar and Bat-Mitzvahs, and pretty much anything you can think of…we’ll even just come over and hang out…if you pay us.”

Want to know more?
CLICK HERE for "Happenin' Hanukkah Jams"
CLICK HERE for "How to Celebrate Hanukkah"

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