Ah, sure, Hanukkah 2020. The Competition of Lights. The “Jewish Christmas.” The vacation that Adam Sandler wrote a tune about.
To Jewish folks, nevertheless, Hanukkah is not really all that non secular of a vacation –although due to its proximity to Christmas, it is typically assumed a very powerful Jewish vacation. It is not. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Passover, for instance, are extra religiously noticed, although Hanukkah definitely holds cultural significance.
As a toddler, Hanukkah meant I may get presents similar to my predominantly-Christian classmates and never really feel omitted. It additionally meant nodding politely (and nonetheless doing so) when somebody mentioned “Merry Christmas” come mid-to-late December, and making an attempt to recollect to say it again.
This yr my household and I are determining the right way to rejoice it throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Trace: We’re doing a household Zoom.
So, if Hanukkah is not all that non secular, what’s all of the fuss about?
What precisely is Hanukkah and when is it?
Generally known as the Competition of Lights, Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem throughout the second century B.C. The occasion occurred when Jews rose up towards Greek-Syrian rulers within the Maccabean Revolt and drove them out of Jerusalem, in line with the Historical past Channel.
To mark their victory, Jews needed to reclaim the temple and light-weight its menorah, however solely discovered sufficient pure olive oil for someday, in line with Chabad.org. That one-day provide lasted eight and is taken into account a miracle in Jewish religion.
Yearly, Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, a month within the Hebrew calendar. It lasts eight nights (sure, due to the oil), and this yr it is from Dec. 10 to 18.
No. Effectively, possibly. I used to be positive it was true till my seventh grade Hebrew college class when somebody advised me it wasn’t.
The story of the oil lasting eight days goes again to historical rabbis, who appeared to have made up the story whereas chatting about lighting candles throughout the vacation, stories The Washington Publish. Some staunchly consider the oil story, although others are extra inclined to deal with the messages/classes the vacation teaches.
Additionally, again up. Is it Hanukkah 2020 or Chanukah?
Each are right. The truth is, there are lots of variations of the right way to spell the vacation‘s identify in English, in line with the Oxford Dictionaries and Merriam-Webster.
The variations come up as a result of the vacation‘s identify comes from Hebrew, which does not use the Latin alphabet. In line with Merriam-Webster, some sounds in Hebrew haven’t got precise matches for Latin letters, creating the a number of spellings.
In the present day, the most typical spelling is Hanukkah, however do not be stunned in the event you additionally see Chanukah or Hanukah, in line with the 2 dictionaries.
What occurs throughout Hanukkah 2020?
To mark the vacation, Jews gentle one candle every night on a nine-branched menorah. The ninth candle – the shamash, (“helper” or “attendant”) – is used to gentle the opposite eight.
The lit menorahs are displayed prominently, typically in home windows. Taking part in with tops known as dreidels and exchanging items are different Hanukkah traditions to rejoice the vacation. Remember about gelt, chocolate cash adults give to youngsters throughout Hanukkah (an emblem of the cash that Jewish dad and mom would give their youngsters in lieu of items; “gelt” means cash in Yiddish).
Bigger household gatherings throughout the pandemic are doubtless not taking place this yr (and should not advisable), that means will probably be as much as particular person households to determine in-person present exchanges and dreidel spinning. I do know I am hoping for gelt within the mail this season.