Hanukkah menorah

Photo Credit: Scazon via Flickr CC

Tonight at sundown, which is 5:22 p.m. locally in Phoenix, Hanukkah begins. It is a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, but has taken on greater significance in the US and other western countries because of its proximity to Christmas.

The holiday commemorates events that began in 168 B.C.E. (before the common era) when Israel was under the control of the Greco-Syrian empire. The emperor Antiochus outlawed the practice of Judaism and soldiers desecrated the Jewish temples. Matthias and his sons, known as the Maccabees, began a resistance movement and eventually overcame the Hellenic forces. All the temples had to be cleansed and re-dedicated before they could be used again.

On the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, the temple in Jerusalem was dedicated and the great candelabrum, called a menorah, was re-lit, but they only had enough sacramental oil to last for a single day. It would take 8 days to prepare more sacred oil, but they went ahead and lit the menorah anyway, and the oil burned for 8 days.

Hanukkah, which means “dedication,” was declared as an 8-day festival to commemorate the miracle of the lights. It always begins on the 25th day of Kislev. Because the Hebrew calendar is lunar and our common calendar is solar, the beginning day varies from year to year, at least by the common calendar date.

At Colten Adult Care, we celebrate our residents every day, and we love throwing parties, so we celebrate all the holidays that are important to our residents. Tonight and for the next 7 days, we will light the Menorah and celebrate the miracle of lights.

We especially want to say Thank You to our wonderful residents and their families. We are grateful you are part of our lives and that you trust us with your loved ones’ care and well-being. We wish you a joyous Happy Hanukkah, and a New Year filled with light, abundance, peace, and all good things