Discounted faith: The celebration and history of Hanukkah


Thinking of any Holiday you may celebrate, what is the most important part of it for you? For some, it may be giving gifts, or even receiving gifts. Although this time of year has so many well-known Holidays, not many people know much about its history. Like Hanukkah, most people know about the lighting of candles, but what about its history or even why it is so crucial for most people of the Jewish religion to celebrate.

Although it is so much fun to watch people open up that cringe, sweet, gift you got them, it is also important to understand why we celebrate the things we do, it gives us a reason. Hanukkah commemorates the rededication during 2nd B.C of the second temple in Jerusalem. Many Jews rose against the repressive man who took control of them, Antiochus IV. Antiochus IV outlawed the Jewish religion, he even forced the Jews to believe in Greek Gods. However, there is also another event that gave the Jews their power back. It’s the story of a massive group of people being pinned down from freedom, to finally catching on.  

Whether you participate in Hanukkah or not, it is still amazing to know the history of the Jewish Holiday. The miracle of Hanukkah starts with Judah Maccabee, someone who began a revolt against Antiochus IV. Judah reclaimed the temple and removed all offerings for Zeus. He and many other Jews began to rebuild the altar and lit the menorah (gold candelabrum whose seven branches represented knowledge and creation). Now we know the history of Hanukkah, we can finally take in how important each religion’s traditional Holidays are. 

With all of this being said, this Holiday break is the best time to catch up with family and yourself. Hanukkah means dedication in Hebrew. That word might not mean much to everyone, but place that word in your life. What does dedication mean to you? Here is another question; what does faith mean to you?