2023 Home For The Holidays

Page 19 2023 Home For The Holidays Lincoln Daily News November 23, 2022 As part of the assimilation, Brigg says “Antiochus outlawed the Jewish faith and mandated the worship of Greek gods.” Josephus, a first century historian tells of the horrible treatment of Jews who refused to assimilate. This included whipping, crucifixions and destruction of sacred books. Then a priest named Matthias rebelled against the changes. Once Matthias died, his son Judah the Maccabee continued fighting against the Seleucids, often winning. By 164, Judah had regained control of Jerusalem. The temple was then restored, cleansed and redecorated. The Jewish Virtual Library says that is the Hanukkah miracle described in the Book of Maccabees. Hannukah means “dedication” and “commemorates the miracle of light that occurred when Judah redecorated the Temple to the Hebrew God. Hanukkah is celebrated around the same time as Christmas. In fact, the Jewish Virtual Library says many who are not Jewish “think of this holiday as the Jewish Christmas, adopting many of the Christmas customs, such as elaborate gift giving and decoration.” Rebecca Forgrasz’s article “The story of Hanukkah: how a minor Jewish holiday was remade in the image of Christmas” says, “[i] n the US especially, Hanukkah has become a widely recognized holiday. As well as lighting the National Menorah in Washington DC, the president hosts an annual Hanukkah party in the White House. In big cities like New York, parents of Jewish children are often invited into elementary school classrooms to explain Hanukkah to students.” Hanukkah traditions The celebration of Hanukkah has many traditions that include candles, food, gifts and games. Olivia B. Waxman’s Time magazine article on the origin of these traditions describes how they came about. For example, candles are lit today in place of lighting oil lamps like they did in first century celebrations. In the same article, historian Steven Fine says using candles became common in 18th century Eastern Europe because “candles became cleaner and cheaper, and people could not get olive oil in the middle of the winter because it’s expensive.” Latkes [fried potato pancakes or fritters] and jelly donuts are commonly served during Hanukkah celebrations. The fried foods are symbolic of “the oil used to light the menorah.” Latkes in the middle ages “were actually made of cheese.” By the mid-19th century, potatoes were readily available and cheaper to use than cheese. Chocolate gelt, which are foil wrapped chocolate coins are given out during Hanukkah. Waxman says they “may have evolved from a bunch of different traditions.” For example, in one 18th century Eastern European tradition, “rabbis went from village to village giving Hebrew School-style lessons.” To reward the Rabbis, villagers gave them “some kind of edible tokens of appreciation.” A commonly played Hannukah game is dreidel, which is a spinning game. Though the origin is unknown, Times article on Hanukkah’s history says, “it’s thought to have derived from a 16th century game played in Ireland that made its way to Germany. Continued --