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Celebrating Hanukkah

The Jewish Festival of Lights

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03 December 2021
The Feast of Hanukkah recalls the small miracle of the oil of the Menorah, the golden candelabrum of the Temple. In 165 BC, Yehudàh ha-Makkabì was able to defeat the imposing army of the Seleucids. He entered Jerusalem, went to the Temple and built a new altar to replace the one that had been desecrated. So what is recalled each year of this military victory? An apparently marginal detail: only one cruse of pure oil remained, containing enough oil to light the Menorah for one day, but which lasted eight days, the time needed to prepare new oil. The feast is mentioned in the New Testament: “It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon” (Jn 10:22-23). In order to understand the importance of this feast we have to remember the function of the ...

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