JBuzz Musings November 28, 2013: American Jews far and wide celebrating Thanksgivukkah phenomenon

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American Jews far and wide celebrating Thanksgivukkah phenomenon

By Bonnie K. Goodman

All over the United States American Jews and Jews worldwide celebrated the first light of Hanukkah on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. The next day on Thursday, Nov. 28, American Jews celebrated a rare convergence of two holidays…READ MORE

JBuzz Features November 27, 2013: Eight ways to celebrate Thanksgivukkah

JBUZZ FEATURES: ISRAEL/JEWISH CULTURAL BUZZ

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Eight ways to celebrate Thanksgivukkah

Source: CNN (blog), 11-27-13

Break out the menurkeys and sweet potato latkes, people, it’s time to celebrate Thanksgivukkah, a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. A calendrical quirk brings the first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving together this Thursday for the first time since 1888….READ MORE

JBuzz Features November 26, 2013: Calendar makes new holiday: Thanksgivukkah

JBUZZ FEATURES: ISRAEL/JEWISH CULTURAL BUZZ

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Calendar makes new holiday: Thanksgivukkah

It’s time to carve the turkey. . . and light the menorah. It’s Thanksgivukkah! An extremely rare convergence this year of Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah has created a holiday frenzy….READ MORE

JBuzz News November 27, 2013: Wednesday marks first night of Hanukkah

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Wednesday marks first night of Hanukkah

Source: CityNews, 11-27-13

Wednesday marks the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. For the first time in over a hundred years, the eight-day holiday will overlap with American Thanksgiving, which is Thursday….READ MORE

JBuzz Features November 27, 2013: Thanksgivukkah, a modern holiday foretold in scripture

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Thanksgivukkah, a modern holiday foretold in scripture

Source: Haaretz (blog), 11-27-13

Thanksgivukkah is a brand-new word, but its origins stretch back to antiquity. So as the once-in-a-lifetime holiday draws near, let us follow the etymological trail of its name from the dawn of civilization to the 21st century − in reverse….READ MORE

National Menorah lit on first day of Hanukkah

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National Menorah lit on first day of Hanukkah

National Menorah lit on first day of Hanukkah

Thousands turned out for a special ceremony marking the first night of Hanukkah. “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band performed as the National Menorah, situated on the Ellipse near the White House, was lit. (Dec. 20)

Israel Political Brief December 20, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Hanukkah Statement

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

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Statement by the President on Hanukkah

Source: WH, 12-20-11

Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Hanukkah around the world.

This Hanukkah season we remember the powerful story of a band of believers who rose up and freed their people, only to discover that the oil left in their desecrated temple – which should have been enough for only one night – ended up lasting for eight.

It’s a timeless story of right over might and faith over doubt – one that has given hope to Jewish people everywhere for over 2,000 years.  And tonight, as families and friends come together to light the menorah, it is a story that reminds us to count our blessings, to honor the sacrifices of our ancestors, and to believe that through faith and determination, we can work together to build a brighter, better world for generations to come.

From our family to the Jewish Community around the world, Chag Sameach.

Chabad: Hanukkah Basics — Story, Songs, Blessings & Recipes

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Source: Chabad, 12-20-11

Celebrate Hanukkah 2011

On Tuesday evening (Dec. 20) light one candle on your menorah

Menorah Lighting Instructions »»

Chanukah Basics

Chanukah Hanukkah Story
Chanukah How To
Chanukah Hanukkah Insights and Inspiration

Additional Links

Hanukkah Kids Zone
Hanukkah Recipes
Hanukkah Cards
Hanukkah Shopping
Chanukkah Tidbits
Menorah Gallery
Chanukah News

Menorahs lighted in New York, nation’s capital

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Menorahs lighted in New York, nation’s capital

New Yorkers light a massive menorah in Manhattan on Tuesday to mark the beginning of Hanukkah.
New Yorkers light a massive menorah in Manhattan on Tuesday to mark the beginning of Hanukkah.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The world’s largest menorah is lighted in New York
  • The nine-branched candelabra is 32 feet tall, 28 feet wide and weighs 4,000 pounds
  • A menorah also is lighted in Washington
  • The White House menorah lighting dates to 1979 with President Jimmy Carter

From big balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to a big Christmas tree at Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, the Big Apple is known for going big around the holidays. And on Tuesday, the first night of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, New Yorkers went big again, lighting a massive menorah outside the south side of Central Park.

The nine-branched candelabra is 32 feet tall, 28 feet wide, weighs 4,000 pounds, and is considered the world’s biggest, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman, director of the city’s Lubavitch Youth Organization, said the gold-colored steel structure is equipped with oil lamps and has special glass chimneys to protect the flames from wind.

The Brooklyn-based group has coordinated the lighting ceremony since it began in 1977, then coinciding with the administration of Abraham David Beam, the first Jewish mayor of New York City.

The massive structure was designed by renowned Jewish artist Yaacov Agam, according to Butman.

During the celebration, one candle is lighted the first night, and an additional candle is lighted each subsequent night for eight nights, earning Hanukkah the name “The Festival of Lights.”

“The menorah is a symbol of inspiration not only for the Jewish people, but all people, regardless of race, color or creed,” Butman said.

In the nation’s capital, a special lighting ceremony near the White House also marked the start of the holiday.

“Tonight, as families and friends come together to light the menorah, it is a story that reminds us to count our blessings, to honor the sacrifices of our ancestors,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “To believe that through faith and determination, we can work together to build a brighter, better world for generations to come.”

The White House menorah lighting dates to 1979 with President Jimmy Carter.

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield: The 411 on Hanukkah and Why It Matters for Jews and for America

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Rabbi Brad Hirschfield: The 411 on Hanukkah and Why It Matters for Jews and for America

Source: Fox News, 12-20-11

What is Hanukkah and does it really matter? What if you’re not Jewish? Does it still matter? The answer is yes to all of the above. First some basic information.

Hanukkah 2011 begins on the 25th of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which corresponds, this year to sundown on the evening of December 20th. Why does the holiday begin then – not at midnight? Because in the Jewish calendar, the day begins at sundown.

It’s actually pretty cool to imagine that something is beginning when most people think its ending. It’s about asserting new possibilities when others may not see them. It’s related to Christmas too, but more on that below.

What is the story of Hanukkah? The story of Hanukkah is that of a four-year war in the land of Israel, which lasted from 167 BCE – 163 BCE. Some accounts portray a battle between oppressed Jews and the imperialist descendants of Alexander the Great, when the latter became increasingly harsh with those living under their rule. Other accounts tell of what was essentially a civil war between those Jews who collaborated with their Pagan masters and those who did not. Either way, the holiday story culminates in the re-taking of the Jerusalem Temple and the re-establishment of its sacred service.

Why is Hanukkah eight days long? Hanukkah lasts eight days for two reasons, one well-known, and the other much less so. According the better known story, the holiday lasts eight days in honor of the eight days that oil, which should have lasted only one day, continued to burn in the newly re-dedicated Jerusalem Temple’s menorah (sanctuary candelabrum).

According to a lesser known account in the Book of Maccabees (part of the Apocrypha — writings which are part of the biblical canon for Catholics, but not for Jews and Protestants), when the Temple was taken back by the Jews, they celebrated the eight day holiday of Sukkot (Tabernacles), which they had not been able to observe when Pagans controlled the institution. There is a good possibility that was the basis for declaring the new holiday of Hanukkah as an eight day festival….READ MORE