“We’ve come to chase away the darkness, carrying light and fire in our hands…” goes the modern Israeli song. The holiday which celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem following its conquest by the Syrians in 165 BCE. The holiday is celebrated by lighting candles in a hanukiyah oon each of eight nights. Other customs include the eating of fried foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (jelly donuts), playing dreidl (a gambling game with a spinning top), and, in present day America, gift giving. is a time to celebrate the tiny miracle of oil and light, and the spirit of the Jewish people fighting to preserve our identity throughout the course of history. In addition to lighting Hanukkah candles, the rituals of this holiday can be enriched by innovative Hanukkah practices that celebrate women’s connections to the Hanukkah story, that focus on healing, and that offer an inspired role for gift giving.
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