Hanukkah 2011 Is Here

Well it is now getting dark around here and the sun is setting.  That means Hanukkah or the festival of lights has started.  Hanukkah is an eight day holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.  The Jewish holiday celebrates the triumphs of ancient Jewish heroes and is often filled with food, games, and blessings.  Outside of Jewish culture; Hanukkah is often not as well known as Christmas.  But this is the Jewish way of enjoying the holiday season.

The main tradition of Hanukkah is the lighting of the Menorah which symbolizes the burning light in the temple.  The Menorah has nine branches with a taller branch in the middle.  Each evening another branch is lit with a special blessing.  The popular toy is the Dreidel.  Which I really did not know what it is about until researching it.  The four sides has the Hebrew letters “nun, gimel, hay, and shin.” And they stand for “a great miracle happened here.”

Now the meaning of Hanukkah in pop culture.  Probably the most popular song of Hanukkah is the Chanukah Song by Adam Sandler.  I really liked the SNL version.

And the Adam Sandler movie Eight Crazy Nights which centers on the eight nights of the holiday.  Hanukkah is often talked about here in a funny way and not taken as seriously by the non-Jewish crowd here in America.  But the holiday has an important meaning just like Christmas and other holidays.  Spending time with family and friends.  That is the meaning this time of the year.  So enjoy the Menorah or the Christmas tree and have a great holiday.  No matter what you are celebrating.  Just like Isabella from Phineas and Ferb.  She is Jewish and celebrates Hanukkah but her friends celebrate Christmas.  But they still all enjoy spending time with each other and that is what the holidays are all about!