Mississippi Moment: Hanukkah

Living Local

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – December is the height of the holiday season. Thanksgiving comes right before it, and New Year’s wraps it up. There, in between, is Christmas, but another holiday falls in this time of year, and it starts tonight. It is the eight-day Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.

The origin of the holiday is the victory of the Maccabee family over the Greeks in 165 B.C., reestablishing Jewish worship in the temple in Jerusalem. The celebration lasts eight days because there was a vessel of lamp oil with enough oil to last only one day in the temple at the time, which miraculously, lasted eight days. Hence, the length of the celebration.

Actually, Hanukkah is not one of the major festivals in the Jewish religious calendar. However, because it is always around the same time as Christmas, it has taken on life on its own and an importance of its own.

A new candle lighted each night to commemorate the miracle of the oil. One night, then two tomorrow night and so on until December 18. Gifts are also exchanged every night.

Now, in a year that has siphoned pretty much all of the joy out of life because of COVID-19 and then the financial hardships it has caused a bunch of people, here is another reason to celebrate the season or seasons– the commemoration of another miracle. Giving us hope that mankind’s miracle against COVID-19 will come soon.

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