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The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye

The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye

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The History Of Hanukkah

The+History+Of+Hanukkah

Hanukkah is Hebrew for ‘dedication’ which is also known as the Festival of lights. Jerusalem, which is where their sacred temple was, had been taken over and invaded by the Syrian Greeks. Because of this invasion, they tried to force the Jewish people to forget their beliefs and learn the Greek beliefs instead. They made a law forbidding the practice of Judaism.
After the Jews had gotten Jerusalem back, they saw their temple was obliterated, so they worked hard to clean it up. They wanted to light the menorah, so they could have light during the repairs. But when you are in the temple, the oil has to be specifically purified oil. They found a little, but only thought that it would last a day. Instead, it surprised everyone and lasted 8 days. So we celebrate Hanukkah to honor the victory of the Maccabees (a small group of Jewish rebels) against armies of Syria to get back the temple in Jerusalem.

When Jerusalem was invaded, the Greeks forbade the study of the Torah, so they would have secret gatherings where they would study together. Just in case a soldier would walk by, they would take spinning tops or dreidels with them to study. They would shut the book and take out their spinning tops to make it look as though they were playing a game. A dreidel is marked with “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham,” which means “a great miracle happened there” (referring to Jerusalem).” When playing, each word has a different amount, so if you spin the dreidel you can win or lose various numbers of gelt (either coins or chocolate wrapped in foil that looks like coins). The goal is to get as much gelt as possible.

Now in modern day, we celebrate by lighting the menorah 1 candle each night for eight nights, singing songs, prayers, playing games specifically with the dreidel, and eating foods that are made in oil. Some foods that are made during hanukkah are latkes, sufganiyot (jelly donuts), bimuelos (fried dough puffs) and keftes de prasas (leek patties).

Hanukkah will begin sundown December 7th, and end Friday December, 15th.

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About the Contributor
Rebecca Kittay
Rebecca Kittay, Reporter
Hi! I'm Rebecca Kittay. This is my second year on the Bullseye and I am the Photography Editor.  I'm on the varsity girls golf team and in the culinary academy.  I am interested in photography and music so I’ll be planning on writing articles about these topics. I also will be taking pictures at many school events- especially the various sports games!
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