Vestnik Kavkaza | Dec 6
Today Jews start celebrating Hanukkah, ‘the holiday of candles’ that lasts for eight days from the 25th of the month of Kislev up to the 2nd of the month of Tevet according to the Hebrew calendar. In 2015, these days are from December 6th to December 14th.
Hanukkah is celebrated in memory of the miracle that occurred at the consecration of the Second Jewish Temple after the victory of the Jewish military leader Judas Maccabee over the army of Seleucid king Antiochus in 164 BC. Enemies desecrated almost all the olive oil, which was needed for the menorah. There was only one pot with oil, which expected to be enough for one day. However, it was burning for eight days, i.e. the time that was necessary to produce a new one.
Then wise men decided that these eight days would be a holiday, during which Hallel thanks giving prayer would be read, and lamps would be burning every night for the public glorification of the miracle.
The name Hanukkah means ‘an opening ceremony of sanctification’ because service to God in the Jerusalem Temple began that day.
The President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia Alexander Boroda congratulated the Jews of Russia on the holiday.
“Sanctification of the Temple, a fire in the menorah, meant not only a ritual for all people, but also a kind of physical action, a true spiritual renewal and light, which was not enough for people at that time. A strong faith of our people in God that He will give us victory even over the superior forces of the enemy helped us to ignite the fire,’’ he recalled.
Boroda said that a belief in the victory over evil is as necessary today as ever before. Terrorist attacks occur around the world one after another in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. “And we can see that today our world needs a new victory over evil more than it ever needed it during the last decade. It is needed in the light of kindness and warmth,” the head of the FJC said.
We begin to celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah on the evening of December 6th. It reminds us that, despite all the difficulties, a miracle is possible and it is necessary to believe in the triumph of good,’’ he explained.
‘‘On the threshold of Hanukkah let me I wish you happiness, health and prosperity in every home!” Alexander Boroda concluded.
In honor of the holiday, at Revolution Square in Moscow the chief rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar and Israeli Ambassador to Russia Zvi Heifetz will light a ritual menorah, the Jewish News Agency reports. A number of activities, including a children’s party with an entertainment program, a women’s evening and a ‘Hanukkah mannishly’ with the strongest teachers of the Torah from Israel, who will give lessons in the Moscow Choral Synagogue.
Celebrating Hanukkah, mountain Jews will combine Jewish traditions with the culture of the peoples of the Caucasus: in Moscow on December 13th guests will see lezginka dancing, hear Caucasian music and try Caucasian cuisine during the celebration of Hanukkah, together with the lighting of Hanukkah candles, the press service of the Russian Jewish Congress reports. Contests and an entertainment room will be organized in the dzhuuri language, the dialect of ancient Persian and Hebrew, Interfax-Religion reports.