Hanukkah: What it Means and Illuminates
Holidays have special meaning, and Hannukah affirms several values that can carry over beyond the celebrating of the holiday. Hanukkah is an eight- day Jewish Festival of Lights. It typically falls between late November and late December. Jewish people celebrate by lighting a menorah, one candle for each of the eight nights. The menorah is displayed in windows for the public to see, to remind people of the power of light, illuminating our potential, and like the candle, igniting our ability to overcome our obstacles and challenges.
Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew, commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple after the Jewish people reclaimed it following a battle with the Syrian-Greeks. They had a small amount of oil that they thought would last them one night. Miraculously the oil lasted eight nights. This story underscores the lesson of “beating the odds”, when you believe in what you do and stand for.
Hanukkah lasts for eight nights but the true meaning or dedication is something we can carry with us for the entire year. We dedicate ourselves to life, our families, our friends and our community.
Enjoy yourself and celebrate this Hanukkah. But when you put away the menorah, don’t forget the true meaning of the holiday. Carry the knowledge that dedicating yourself to something or someone you care about is how you can celebrate Hanukkah all year long.