Jewish Holiday Observance

12/14/2020

I have, for many years, been intrigued with the Jewish Holiday traditions. Here are three I want to share with you:

1.    Hanukkah:  is celebrated by the lighting of the menorah, a candleholder that symbolizes the miracle of the oil.  After a historical miraculous military victory, the priests searched for oil.  They had only one day supply and needed eight days before new oil could be produced.  The one-day supply of oil kept the menorah burning for eight days.  
Modern Jews light the candles each year to celebrate the twofold miracle; the miracle of the oil and the miraculous military victory.

2.    Because of the miracle of the oil, it is customary to eat foods cooked in oil, such as latkes (potato pancakes) and jelly doughnuts.

3.    Game of dreidels:  These wooden or plastic tops have different Hebrew letters on each of their four sides, which reminds, “A great miracle happened there.”  This has prompted giving gifts.  Many families give real money, perhaps 25 cents for each year of their age.   This tradition is a Jewish adaptation of the Christmas gift-giving custom.

Information from notes in Jewish Bible