The eight days of Hanukkah begin this Friday at sundown, when Jews light the first candle on a special nine-branch menorah.
The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees defeated the Seleucid Empire in the second century BC. There was enough oil to burn for only one day, but the light miraculously burned for eight days.
Use these links to learn more about Hanukkah history and traditions:
- Learn the history and traditions of Hanukkah, from the History Channel
- The story of how Hannukah has evolved over the years
- Listen to or read this NPR “All Things Considered” interview with a rabbi about the different spellings of Hannukah (I recommend listening to get the full effect of the pronunciations of Hebrew letters)
- This article might make you hungry with descriptions of potato latkes and how they became a traditional Hanukkah food (according to this author, there’s more to it than just eating a food containing oil)
- This site is all about Sufganiyot, nuggets of fried dough filled with jelly or custard
Here are some how-to helps from FamilyTreeMagazine.com:
- Online resources for Jewish research (free article)
- Ties That Bind: seven research strategies from Schelly Talalay Dardashti (accessible to Family Tree Magazine Plus members)
- Jewish heritage research guide (digital download from Family Tree Shop)