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Hanukkah: 25th day of Kislev (first day)

In 168 B.C.E. the Syrians seized the Jews' holy Temple, and King Antiochus IV ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods, decreeing that anyone caught practicing Jewish rites would be put to death. In response, the Jews waged the first rebellion in recorded history for religious freedom.

Exactly three years after the Temple was defiled, Judah Maccabee and his followers reclaimed, cleaned, and rededicated it. When they were ready to light the menorah that was always to be kept burning, however, they could find only one small flask of oil -- enough for a day. According to legend, that oil burned for eight days, the amount of time they needed to get more.

To commemorate this miracle, Jews everywhere celebrate Hanukkah (Hebrew for "dedication") by lighting menorah candles for eight nights. The celebration begins on the 25th of Kislev.

Menorah Happy Chanukah! "Oh dreidel dreidel dreidel..."

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