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article imageJews celebrate Chanukkah beginning December 20th

By Nancy Houser     Dec 20, 2011 in World
A popular Jewish holiday is Chanukkah, thought to be popular because of its close proximity to Christmas. Referred to as the Jewish Festival of Lights or Festival of Rededication, this year's Chanukkah begins on December 20 at sunset, lasting for 8 days.
Many think Chanukkah is Christmas for the Jewish people, a special Jewish Christmas holiday. Chanukkah, also called Hanukkah, dates back to the Maccabean Revolt during the second century, with its historical account written in the King James BIble, 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees.
The holiday was called ''Hanukkah'' meaning "dedication" because it marks the re-dedication of the Temple after its desecration under Antiochus IV. Spiritually, Hanukkah commemorates the Miracle of the Oil. According to the Talmud, at the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem following the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days - which was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate new oil (Greeting Card).
The lights or oils were fueled in the ancient seven-branched menorah lamp-stand, used in the ancient Tabernacle in the desert and in Temple of Jerusalem. The menorah of today that is used in the home is a nine-branched candelabrum, with its candles lit 18 minutes before sunset until 30 minutes after dark.
The menorah is a symbol of the Jewish faith, its eight candles lit during the Jewish holiday Chanukkah or Hanukkah.The ninth candle is placed higher or lower than the eight candles, called the servant or shammus for reciting Jewish blessings. It is also the emblem of the modern state of Israel.
Our rabbis taught the rule of Chanukkah: ... on the first day one [candle] is lit and thereafter they are progressively increased ... [because] we increase in sanctity but do not reduce. -Shabbat 21b, Babylonian Talmud (Judaism 101)
There are some very special things happening this year with the first day of Chanukkah, as it begins on the first day of winter. This is something that does not always happen.
John 10:33,23 says, "And it was at Jerusalem the feat of the dedication [Hanukkah or Chanukkah], and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch."
The first day of Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights, and the Feast of Dedication, also falls on the end of the Mayan Calendar this year. There are many stories of when the False Prophet will become possessed of Satan, sitting in the Holy Temple pretending to be God.
On a more fun-filled basis, twelve days before Chanukkah officially began the White House published a beautiful article on the U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosting the Jewish celebration on December 8, with Vice-President Jo Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attending.
Additionally, over 550 guests attended with the majority Jewish-Americans, including the new Director of Jewish Outreach, Jarrod Bernstein. Other special guests were the Ambassador to the United States from Israel, Michael Oren; Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; national rabbis and lay leaders. The West Point Jewish Chapel Choir, also known as Kol Masoret, the Voice of Tradition, performed.
As seen in the video above, the White House kitchen was koshered for the Jewish meal, as required by Jewish Law:
• Dill and Vodka Scottish Smoked Salmon
• Non-Pareil Capers
• Chopped Egg Whites
• Chopped Egg Yolks
• Parsley
• Lemon Wedges
• Assorted Fresh Sushi Rolls
• Roulade of Chicken Breast
• Arugula and Fresh Artichokes
• Garlic Mashed Potatoes
• Fresh Thyme Sauce
• Filet of Beef
• Caramelized Pearl Onions
• Shitake Mushrooms
• Au Jus
• Pine Nut Herb Crusted Lamb Chops
• Mango and Mission Fig Chutney
• Homemade Potato with Scallion Pancakes
• Apple Sauce
• Winter Squash Salad
• Assorted Rolls
• Dessert Station:
o Homemade Soufganyot
o Crème Anglaise
o Raspberry Jelly
• An Assortment of Homemade Desserts
More about Jews, Celebrate, chanukkah, Beginning, december 20
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