December 29, 2016
The History of Hanukkah

The Festival of Lights—Hanukkah—is now underway, continuing this year through Sunday, January 1st.

While there are, perhaps, more religious holidays in the Jewish faith than any other religion from Yom Kippur to Rosh Hashanah to the Fast of Gedalia, one of the more recognizable celebrations of Jewish tradition is not religious in nature. Rather, Hanukkah celebrates a nation’s heroes and the miracle they experienced!

As you may or may not know, Hanukkah recognizes the efforts of a group of freedom fighters known as the Maccabees. Around 150 BC, this brave clan battled Antiochus, a foreign monarch who ruled Israel with an iron fist. Though vastly outnumbered, they were able to take back the Holy Temple from their conquerors. In Hebrew, Hanukkah means “dedication,” and those brave warriors truly were that!

There are, of course, religious overtones to the Hanukkah celebration. Also known as the “Festival of Lights,” the holiday commemorates a miracle that took place during the struggle. Once they had secured the temple, the Maccabees discovered that there was only enough oil present to allow them to read the Torah for one day. However, and this is the miracle, the lamp stays lit for eight days!

As a result of this miracle, the Jewish celebration includes the lighting of the Menorah, an eight-pronged candelabra that bears eight candles. Each night of the Hanukkah celebration another candle is lit. As they light the candle, a prayer is recited that gives honor to God for performing the miracle for the heroic Maccabees.

To read and learn more, go to: Hanukkah History & Traditions.

Get Updates
Join the Jerusalem Prayer Team newsletter for regular updates

Recent Articles

Putting Christ First Every Day

By Mike Evans

We have to make sure Christ is the Lord of our lives in order to qualify for His wonderful blessings. But how do we make Him Lord? We must put Christ first in everything, every day! Jesus first. A lost and dying world is staring down the tunnel of eternity; only people who have made Jesus Lord can rescue the multitudes.

Read More

Entering the Presence of God

By Mike Evans

In Old Testament times in the Tabernacle and later the Temple, the ark of the covenant was kept in a special place, walled off from view by a thick veil. The ark symbolized the presence of God among His people, and no one was allowed to come before it except for the high priest on the Day of Atonement. That all changed with Jesus. When He was crucified, the veil in the Temple was ripped in half from the top to the bottom.

Read More

A Proper View of Jerusalem

By Mike Evans

When viewing the history of Jerusalem as a whole, no other city has suffered as has David’s City. At times the city has been overrun by violent assailants. It is recorded in Jeremiah that the city would surrender after suffering the horrors of starvation.

Read More

Jerusalem News

JCC bomb threat suspect tried to grab cop’s gun; ordered held in jail

Lawyer claims suspect has brain tumor; US attorney-general hails arrest

Read More

Jewish cop suspended for beating Jerusalem Arab truck driver

Public security minister hails decision after video shows assault

Read More

Ten Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai fighting

Security forces kill 15, arrest seven terrorists in raid

Read More