Holiday Celebration Series | Hanukkah
Holiday Celebration Cultural Awareness Series | Hanukkah
[VIDEO DESC: ASL Vlog with captions by Danielle Silk. Danielle is a white DeafDisabled woman with dark brown hair pulled back in two french braids. She is wearing a black top with a black cardigan and signing in front of a solid blue background. She has large green glasses and is wearing a tree of life earrings. She has on dark purple nail polish. In the vlog she shows a menorah and dreidel.]
Happy Holidays! At DCARA, we want to acknowledge and recognize other holiday celebrations & traditions to increase cultural awareness for our community.
Today we want to recognize and celebrate Hanukkah during December 10-18, or on the Jewish Calendar – Kislev 24 – Tevet 3.
Happy Hanukkah! Happy Chanukah!
Maybe you notice I signed two different signs and there are two different spellings. Both are correct! The word Chanukah/Hanukkah is not English, it’s a transliteration of Hebrew, so both are used. Chanukah is considered more traditional.
The Story of Hanukkah
Hanukkah is a winter holiday celebrated by Jews all over the world to honor a great miracle that happened a long, long time ago in the 2nd Century BC. Jewish people have always been a people of exile- forced to move from place to place by cultures and countries that don’t want our traditions or our people to survive. In that time Jews lived under Greek-Syrian rule and their king gave degrees forbidding Jewish religious practice. A small group of Jews called the Maccabees rose up against the Greek-Syrian army and won. To celebrate their new found freedom they rededicated our 2nd great temple but a problem arose: only a small amount of oil remained after the war, enough to light the temple’s menorah for only 1 day. The next town where oil could be procured was a 4-day walk away. The Jewish people were sad and expected a that long 8-day wait until they could resume their traditions but a great miracle happened! The oil lasted for 8 days until new oil could be brought. As a Jewish people we believe this miracle shows that even in dark times we are not alone, G-d is always with us.
How We Celebrate
We celebrate by gathering with family and friends to kindle the lights of Chanukah for 8 nights and remember our ancestors, their struggle for freedom, and the great miracle G-d performed for the Jewish people. This year we will be gathering virtually to preserve life and care for one another.
We play dreidel to remember the time when Jewish teachings were forbidden. Jewish people used the game to teach in secret while those who ruled over us assumed we were playing meaningless games.
Some families also give gifts during this time.
We eat FRIED foods for Hannukah to celebrate the miracle of oil: Latkes, Sufganiyah (a donut stuffed with jelly), and dairy, specifically cheese, to honor the Jewish Heroine Lilah.
[Slide shows pictures of Latkes, Sufganiyah, and dairy]
The 7th Night of Hanukkah
Tonight is the 7th night of Hanukkah– this night is special in that is celebrates womxn, girls, aunts, sisters, mothers and daughters. For a more in-depth look explanation of the 7th night you can read more here:
Happy Chanukah, Happy Hanukkah!