Join Temple Beth Hillel in Celebrating the Eight Days of Hanukkah

Top Quote Hanukkah starts on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which may occur anywhere from late November to late December in our Gregorian calendar. This year it begins at sundown on Sat, 24 December 2016 and ends on New Year's Day. End Quote
  • Hartford, CT (1888PressRelease) November 23, 2016 - For most people, Hanukkah is the Jewish celebration that happens to coincide fairly closely to the Christian holiday of Christmas. Known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabean Revolt which inspired the rededication of the Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem some time in the 2nd century BCE.

    The Holy Land was once ruled by a group of Syrian Greeks called the Seleucids who wished to overthrow Judaism in favor of Hellenism. The Maccabees, a small group of loyal Hebrews, defied all odds by defeating the mighty Greeks and reclaiming the Holy Temple in Jerusalem back to the Jews.

    Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days in honor of what has come to be called, " The Miracle of Hanukkah." According to the Talmud, only one vial of oil was found to illuminate the Temple lamp which was required to burn all night, every night. This vial contained just enough oil for one day, and yet it lasted for eight full days. The festival, therefore, starts at sundown with the lighting of a nine-branched menorah, sometimes called a Hanukiah. One lights one candle the first night with additional candles on each subsequent night of the holiday. The ninth branch of the menorah is dedicated to the shamash; an extra candle, with which all the other candles are lit. This branch generally sits above or below the rest to distinguish it. Traditional Hanukkah fare generally includes oil based Jewish foods such as latkes or jelly doughnuts. A symbolic nod to the Temple oil of so long ago.

    A dynamic reform synagogue rooted in tradition but committed to the future, Temple Beth Hillel is located on 20 Baker Lane in South Windsor. For more information on Hanukkah or joining them for any shabbat or holiday service, call 860-282-8466 or visit their website at

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