145 Hanukkah (or Chanukah) for 2004, 041207 – 041215 Delivered:
041207, Modified/Posted: 041208
often mark ritual days for some religions. We first mentioned this when we
talked about Ramadan (our Letter#139). We believed that American calendars pick
up some rites of some religions, whose adherers are quite a few compared to the
US pop. In the US, Judaism is the second largest religion and the adult pop in
the US is 2.8+ Million (as of 2001). So there are many Americans who observe
Hanukkah. That's why the calendars mark Hanukkah. Note: For the US, the top
five religions are Christianity, Nonreligious/Secular, Judaism, Islam, and
Buddhism according to the site <
Most Americans usually know only that Hanukkah is a Jewish festival. But we
think that a few know what it is.*
much typical Americans know about “Hanukkah”?
Question from a Japanese:
“How much do you think a typical American knows about
Hanukkah? Please let me know what you think when you get a chance. Thanks. “
from an American
”I never heard of Chanukah
but have heard of Hanukkah**. I know it is a Jewish rite and I have heard a few
things about it, but I actually can't remember any of it other than it is a
Jewish celebration that is around Christmas time and that it lasts several days
(is it 9 or 12?) That's about all I can remember right now. I'm sure if I read
about it I would remember that I knew other things about it as well.”
** Hanukkah and Chanukah are commonly used. It looks like Hanukkah is more
from another American
”Most have heard of it. I know it is a Jewish celebration. I thought it was
the ‘Festival of Lights+’, but I may be mixing that up with another
That is all I know about it. It is pretty sad that I am so ignorant on Jewish
holidays, especially since Judaism and Christianity share roots.
suspect many or most Americans are like me regarding Hanukkah -- they know
little about it.”
‘Festival of Lights’ = Hanukkah <
Ummm… If you
are still curious about Hanukkah, and you wanna know more about Hanukkah than
typical Americans, here is a brief story of Hanukkah (which you may not have to
know since even typical Americans don’t know).
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah lasts eight days; for 2004, it begins at sundown on December 7, 2004
and ends on December15, 2004. This is a Jewish rite to celebrate their victory
over the Hellenist Syrians in 165 B.C. Once they defeated the Greek King army
of Syria, they started worshipping their religion again at the temple, which
indicated their dedications to their religion (see Note). They tried to hold a
dedication ceremony, but a menorah (sort of candelabrum) 1) had
enough oil to last only one day. However, a miracle happened in the temple.
The oil kept the menorah lit for the eight nights. Therefore, Jews observe
Hanukkah for eight days by lighting candles in a menorah every night (one candle
per night), which commemorates the eight-day miracle. See reference sites for
the menorah and the detail of Hanukkah.
Note: Hanukkah means “Dedication” in Hebrew 2).
(2)History of Hanukkah
(3) Mount Zion Temple, St. Paul <
(4) Synagogues, Shuls and
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