Hanukkah Lights

The eight-candled menorah, which is lighted one candle at a time during the Festival of Hanukkah, is a remembrance of the restoration of the Temple in 165 BCE.

When the Temple was recaptured, it was found that all the consecrated oil had been tampered with, except for one jar, which held only enough oil for one day. However, the oil miraculously lasted for the eight days of the Festival. 

This story is recounted in the Talmud:

What is [the reason of] Hanukkah? For our Rabbis taught: On the twenty-fifth of Kislew [commence] the days of Hanukkah, which are eight days on which a lamentation for the dead and fasting are forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oils therein, and when the Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them, they made search and found only one cruse of oil which lay with the seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient for one day's lighting only; yet a miracle was wrought therein and they lit [the lamp] therewith for eight days. The following year these [days] were appointed a Festival with [the recital of] Hallel and thanksgiving. 

                        TALMUD: SHABBATH, 21B 

[click thumbnail for large view]

Pen illustration
Swedish Bible
Duluth, Nelson & Johnson,
1890.
Colorful cover
Holidays and
Birthdays (Cover)
Text with illustration inside
Holidays and
Birthdays

 

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