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City news
Happy Hanukkah!
12.10.2001 19:14

the beginning of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah in the St. Petersburg Big Choir Synagogue Yesterday the Chief Rabbi lit a lamp symbolizing the beginning of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah in the St. Petersburg Big Choir Synagogue.

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important Jewish holidays. It goes back almost 2,400 years, and celebrates one of the greatest miracles in Jewish history. Almost two and a half millennia ago, Judea was ruled by Antiochus, a Syrian king. He attempted to assimilate the Jews into Greek culture, commanding them to worship Greek gods while oppressing Jewish culture and religion. Led by Judah Maccabee and his brothers, the Jewish people, after a three-year struggle, overthrew their Syrian oppressors.

When Jerusalem's Temple was reclaimed, the Hebrews found it defiled and only one sanctified jar of oil could be discovered to light the N'er Tamid, the Eternal Light of the Temple. It was enough to last one evening. The lamp was lit with this small jar of oil and, miraculously, stayed lit for eight days, until more oil suitable for the temple was found.

Since that time Hanukkah is celebrated every year since mid to late December during 8 days.

Photo by Mikhail Tyntarev, espesially for Interpress


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