The Celebration Of Chanukah Essay Research Paper

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The Celebration Of Chanukah Essay, Research Paper The Celebration of Chanukah The candle light flickered in Dorothy Abramawitz s eyes. In her tiny, pudgy right hand she held the shammus, the host candle, and burned the wick until the flame was glowing brightly. While she began to light the first candle on the menorah, she heard her mother s voice singing softly, Boruch Atoh Adonoy, Eloheinu Melech Hoolom, Asher Kideshonu Bemitzvosov Vetzivonu Lehadlik Ner Chanukah. Blessed are You, Lord our God King of the universe, Who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Chanukah. She passed the shammus candle to her sister, who lit the second candle and then passed it to her brother to light the third. Boruch Atoh Adonoy, Eloheinu Melech

Hoolom, Sheoso Nisim La’avoseinu Bayomim Hoheim Bizman Hazeh. Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season. This passing of the candle went until all eight of the siblings had had a chance to light a candle, and by the time that had finished, it left the Chanukah menorah fully ablaze. Boruch Atoh Adonoy, Eloheinu Melech Hoolom, Shehechiyonu Vekiyimonu, Vehigionu Lizman Hazeh. Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season. Dorothy watched the hot wax glide from the top of the candle, down its body, and splatter on the wooden table on which the menorah was standing tall. Chanukah was her favorite Jewish holiday to

celebrate. It was a time of family, good food, and gifts. It was a time for remembrance of the miracles that God had once done for her people, and could do once again. But this year s celebration was different. There were no gifts or extravagant feasts. There was no laughter or loud celebrations. A black blanket covered the window, so that she could not see the Russian landscape outside the house, and so that the Gestapo could not see the family s Jewish practices. Everything they did had to be hidden now, had to be concealed. Her brown eyes danced and her glossy brown curls shined in the firelight. Shifting them from the menorah toward her mother, she had to laugh. Even her mother s appearance was different this year. On top of her mother s head was a yammika, the traditional

hat that the men of the family wore on their heads whenever they prayed or gave a blessing. Dorothy s father had been gone for months now, sailed from Mother Russia to America, the new promised land, to find them a home and freedom. Her mother was doing everything she could to make the holiday feel the same for Dorothy and her seven siblings, even sing the prayers. She hoped that, next year, her father would be wearing the yammika, singing the prayers, and retelling the story of their ancestors once again, with the American landscape as the view from the window.1 Chanukah, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of kislev. It falls sometime in the end of the month of December on the American calender. The Hebrew

translation of this word is rededication. Chanukah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays. Many non-Jews think of this holiday as the Jewish Christmas, adopting many of the Christmas customs, such as gift-giving and decoration. It is ironic that this holiday, which came about being because of the suppression of Jewish religion, has become the most secular holiday on our calendar. This celebration is a feast of liberation, symbolic of the victory of the few over many, and of the weak over the strong . The story of Chanukah begins with the reign of Alexander the Great, more than 2,000 years ago. Alexander captured much of the Jewish territories, such as Syria, Egypt and Palestine. Because he was so benevolent a ruler, he allowed these lands to continue with the