Over in the Holy Land, a couple of hundred years before Jesus arrived on the scene, the Greeks ruled that particular area. (You remember Alexander the Great? He conquered the world back at that time.) The Greeks wanted to impose their beliefs and culture on those they now ruled over. But the “pesky” Jewish folks would have none of it!
A small band of faithful Jews, rose up and bravely drove the Greeks from their land, reclaimed their Holy Temple in Jerusalem and then re-dedicated it to the service of their God—Jehovah.
The menorah (that 7 candle holder thing that people place in windows?) had always had a place in the temple. It was actually a permanent part of the Temple furniture. It was lit like a lamp. And it was huge. When the people proudly returned to relight the Temple’s menorah (the seven branched candelabrum), there was a problem. They had only one vial of usable/holy olive oil left. Miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days! Enough time for them to properly prepare new oil according to purity rituals.
So, there you have it. This Festival of Lights, is now celebrated to remember this wondrous work. Each night during the 8 day holiday, Jewish families light their menorah: a single flame on the first night, two on the second evening, and so on until the eighth night of Hanukah, when all eight lights are lit.
And now you know!
Perhaps this information is a chance to “enlighten” a friend or two this week. (wink)