November 28, 1994 |
A giant menorah erected by the Philadelphia Lubavitcher Center at the Judge Lewis Quadrangle across from Independence Hall was illuminated at 4 p.m. yesterday on the first day of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights. Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees, a small band of Jews who rebelled against their oppressors in the second century B.C. and defeated the forces of the Greek-Syrian king Antiochus IV.
December 14, 2012 |
Like modern Israel, biblical Israel had many enemies. The average person today can conceptualize some of them - the Egyptians, for example - but based on the holy book, it's hard to distinguish among the Canaanites and Ammonites, the Hittites and Philistines. The Bible is not a history book, and certainly not one written by a disinterested third party. Enemies of the Israelites are presented as just that. But in the case of the conflict commemorated by Hanukkah, understanding the enemy involved can provide much insight.
December 5, 1988 |
Hanukkah - the Jewish Feast of Lights - got off to a joyous start in Philadelphia yesterday with the annual lighting of the world's largest menorah. The ceremony, near the Liberty Bell on Independence Mall, included traditional music, dancing and other festivities. Hanukkah, which lasts eight days, is the Jewish commemoration of the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians.
December 22, 1989 |
Hanukkah, one of the most joyous of Jewish holidays, starts at sundown tonight and continues through Dec. 30. Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication, is often erroneously called the Jewish Christmas because it is celebrated coincidentally during the Christmas season and Jews, like Christians, exchange gifts to mark the family holiday. Since the event occurred more than 100 years before Jesus Christ was born, Jewish historians believe that Jesus, as a practicing Jew, must have celebrated Hanukkah.
December 6, 2004 |
I gave birth to my daughter, Arianna, on the second-to-last night of Hanukkah in 2001. Just before the orderlies took me to the delivery room, a Jewish physician came to my room and asked whether I wanted to light the Hanukkah menorah. Well, as any woman who has been in labor for 19 hours can attest, I was not in the mood to light the menorah at that moment. My husband thanked the well-meaning, if ill-timed, physician and wished him a good holiday. A few minutes later, when they wheeled me out into the hall, I saw that he had lit the menorah right outside my room.
December 22, 2000 |
I remember when I was the only Jewish kid in the grade school class in Omaha, and Christmas came around and the class would sing Christmas carols, and I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to be the only kid in the class who wasn't singing, and, moreover, the trouble was, I liked most of the carols. A woman I know said the way she handled it was to sing everything but the word Jesus: "The little Lord hm-hm lay down his sweet head. " Times have changed. In these more ecumenical days, we can all join in singing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs and in celebrating Kwanzaa.
December 19, 1992 |
Hanukkah wasn't celebrated in the former Soviet Union. "Back in their old country, they would celebrate the New Year. But it was a secular holiday with no religious feeling," said Olga Shraybman, coordinator of a special program for Soviet Jewish emigres at the Klein branch of the Jewish Community Centers on Red Lion and Jamison roads in the Northeast. Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, which banned all religious observation, Soviet Jews have been emigrating at a brisk pace, and many are joining the large Jewish community in Philadelphia's Northeast section.
December 13, 1998 |
Tonight, as the sky grows dark, Jews here and around the world will mark the occasion with songs, gifts, games, a few button-popping potato pancakes - and light the traditional eight-lamp candelabra, the menorah. So begins Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is, of course, the story of a miracle: Maccabean Jews, celebrating victory in battle long ago, saw fit to rededicate their temple. They had enough lamp oil to last just one day, but their lamp burned instead for eight - a sign to them that God was pleased.
December 19, 2003 |
My elderly father's unexpected part in my son's wedding at the Ritz-Carlton last month, reminded me of the "lasting miracle" at the center of Hanukkah. On that Saturday evening in November, in between my father's "routine" Thursday blood transfusions at Fox Chase Cancer Center, he managed to walk down the aisle beside my radiant mother - who herself walked with a cane. For his grandson's wedding, Dad, almost 89, was suddenly, blessedly strengthened. Nonetheless, I had a bed ready for him at the hotel.
December 21, 1995 |
The request lines have been ringing off the hook at local radio stations for a different kind of holiday song this season - Adam Sandler's goofy "The Hanukkah Song. " WMMR's Pierre Robert, a master at spreading musical merriment this time of year, says Sandler's silly sense of humor and the dearth of material about the Jewish holiday definitely make this one stand out. "The only other one we've come across is Pat Godwin's 'A Goishe Hanukkah,' which is about a Jewish girl going out with a Christian guy. I've been playing the two songs back to back.