8 Fun Facts About Hanukkah

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• Hanukkah is celebrated 8 days, even though the miracle of the oil was only 7 days (the first night was natural), to teach us that even seemingly natural events are really only hidden miracles as well.

• The war of the Maccabees was the world’s first ideological war, fought by a small band of pious Torah scholars engaging in guerilla warfare against a super world power.

• There are 17 correct ways to spell Hanukkah: Chanuccah, Channuka, Channukah, Chanuka, Chanukkah, Chanuko, Hannuka, Hannukah, Hanuka, Hanukkah, Hanukka, Hannukka, Kanukkah, Khannuka, Khannukah, Khanukkah, Khanukkah.”

• It takes 44 candles all together to observe all the eight nights of the Chanukah festival, adding one each night, plus the shamash, the extra helper candle.

• About 17.5 million oily doughnuts are eaten annually in Israel during Hanukkah, commemorating the miracle of oil.

• The Temple menorah was made out of gold. The Maccabees lit one made out of wood. You can buy or make one out of any material, any size.

• When the Greeks controlled Israel, they made it forbidden to learn Torah. Children met up in secret to learn and if a Greek soldier found them, they would pretend to be gambling with their dreidels. Thus, Jewish children today play dreidel to remember the dedication of those children.

• Modern ‘Chanukiahs’ or menorahs have eight branches plus the shamas for the eight-day lighting. But the original menorah in the Holy Temple only had seven.

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