Menorahs are glowing brightly tonight, the eighth and final night of Hanukkah. Though I don’t know as much as I’d like to about the Jewish holiday, I love that these little sparkling lights symbolize triumph, hope and miracles, the stuff of so many of our most cherished traditions.
Because I’ve never celebrated this holiday before, I’m self conscious that my explanation might be insufficient so please correct me where I’m missing details or just plain wrong. But my understanding is that the word “Hanukkah” comes from the Hebrew verb meaning, “To Dedicate”. The holiday celebrates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jews revolted when their religious practices were forbidden during a time of Greek rule twenty-one centuries ago. During the re-dedication, they wanted to purify the temple by burning the menorah for eight days, but there was only enough oil for it to burn one night. Somehow it stayed lit for all eight days, which is considered to be the miracle of Hanukkah. So here’s to another beautiful holiday and to the history and miracles that make them so meaningful!