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What is Hanukkah?

Facts About Hanukkah


Also Called: Chanukkah

Definition: Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration commemorating the military victory of the Jewish Maccabees over the Greek-Syrians. Hanukkah also commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in 164 BCE.

Celebrating Hanukkah: Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days. A Menorah, or a candelabrum is lit one at a time for eight nights. On the last day of Hanukkah all the candles are therefore lit. While the candles are being lit chants are sung and blessings are recited. Afterward, families can sit down to a prepared meal, play games or exchange gifts.

Hanukkah Songs: Hanerot Hallalu is an ancient chant that is recited or sung while lighting the candles. The Maoz Tzur is sung after lighting the candles. It is also known as "Rock of Ages" and was written hundreds of years ago in Europe.

Music Sample: Listen to Hanerot Hallalu and Maoz Tzur

Music Sheet: Music sheet for Maoz Tzur

Related Website: More information from About.Com's Judaism guidesite.

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