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What Does the Word Chanukah Mean?


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The word Chanukah means to dedicate. The Assyrian Greeks had taken control of the land of Israel and were imposing decrees upon the Jewish people that were becoming intolerable. The Greeks wanted to “enlighten” the Jewish people with their way of looking at the world. When the Jews rejected this way of life, the Greeks began to make decrees on the Jewish people to break their spirit such as denying the the chance to perform bris milah on their sons, or from keeping Shabbat, or from making their calendar.

When this did not stop the Jewish people from leaving their faith (some did), the Greeks attacked the symbol of Jewish wisdom and pride, the holy temple in Jerusalem.

After rousting the Greek army from the temple, the priests of that time entered the temple and rededicated it to G-d, (Chanukah) and found a little kosher olive oil left with the high priests seal to last for one day, which miraculously lasted for eight days.

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About Rabbi Lawrence


Originally from London, England, Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff graduated with honors in political science from Manchester University. After working for MTV in news production, and moonlighting as a stand-up comedian, he traveled to study in Israel and then Monsey to receive his rabbinical smicha from Yeshiva Ohr Somayach. Rabbi Lawrence is available for speaking engagements, just email us at info@joyofkosher.com to reach him. Rabbi Lawrence works for Birthright Israel in New York as their educational director, leading trips to Israel three times annually for young professionals. He also serves on the faculty of Stern College for Women in the Judaic Studies department. He lives in Monsey New York with his wife Anita and their five children. For more about Rabbi Lawrence click on these links - jeconline The Jewish Home: Where Kindness Begins Health and Healing in Judaism" on eating right A video on Tisha be'av...really on Shalom Bayit My book "Jew Got Questions" is now available!

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