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Hanukkah History 101

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The Miracle of Hanukkah

Flush with victory, the Jews returned to find their Temple dirty and desecrated, with pots of consecrated olive oil broken everywhere. Working together, they cleaned and rededicated the Temple (“Hanukkah” means “dedication” in Hebrew). They lit the holy fire in the Temple menorah (a many-branched candelabrum and symbol of Judaism). However, although the flame was supposed to burn continuously, they were dismayed to find that there was only enough oil to fuel the flame for one day! Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight full days, and gave the Jews time to properly prepare more oil. This is often referred to as the miracle of Hanukkah.