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The day book. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 13, 1911, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1911-12-13/ed-1/seq-18/

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FESTIVAL OF LIGHT CELEBRATES
JUDAS MACCABEUS
VICTORIES OF
The feast of the Maccabees, the
Feast of the Dedication, the Fes
tival of Lights these are the
three .names -hy which Chanukah,
the next Jewish holiday, is
known. .
J This festival begins on Kisler
25 Saturday, Dec. 16 and con
tinues for eightfdays. Chanukah
was instituted by Judas Maccan
beus, the priestly hero of the Sy
rian wars, his fighting brothers
S 1
1 .Wj .
The "Trendel," a home-made top
which entertained Jewish boys
centuries ago.
and the elders of the city of Je
rusalem, 165 B. C.
Three years before Antiochus
Epiphanus had erected a pagan
altar in the temple at Jerusalem
and worshipped the idol Zeus
Olympius. The rebellion under
Judas Maccabeus followed.
In a series of battles a handful
of Jewish mountaineers defeated
the Syrian legions and their allies
of hundreds of thousands. Judas
recaptured Jerusalem, purified
the temple,'1 erected a new altar
and made new holy vessels.
The dedication ceremonies con
tinued for,eight days. The streets
and home's- were illuminated, giv
ing theholiday the title of the
Festival of Lights.
There is also a legend to the ef
fect that after the battle which re
sulted in the capture of the temple
a small cruse of unpolluted' oil
was discovered by the priests.
This oil, .bemg consecrated, ( was
ignited and.it lasted eight days,
burning brightly until new oil
could be prepared and conse
crated. For this reason in every ortho
dox Jewish home small tapers are
lighted during the Chanukah pe
riod. One is lighted the first
night, two the second and so on
until the eighth night, when eight
tapers are, lighted.
S,oon after the exile of Israel
the rabbis ordained that it was
not the intention of those who
made the Chanukah law to illum
inate the house, "but the entrance
or the windows, so that passers
by might see them, and centuries
ago these lights were placed be
fore each door of the house and
as many lights were kindled as
there were persons in the house. -
The holiday is a joyous one,-the
playing of games of all kinds be
ing a characteristic feature. The
talmud does not forbid it so long
'A1
. v- k

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