Chanukah Story Ellen Roth

Hanukkah greetings everyone from Jewish Deaf Congress.

What is Hanukkah? (It is also spelled as Chanukah.  And a number of other ways.)

Why is it such an amazing holiday? Why is it known as the Festival of Lights?

Rabbi Ellen Roth explains the story and the miracle.

Watch her narrate the story here…
Video Link:

The vlog transcript follows below. 

Enjoy.  May the Light be with you.

Happy Hanukkah.


JDC Co-Chair


The Great Chanukah Story

by Rabbi Ellen Roth    December 2019

Happy Chanukah.

Chanukah is a simple story and is known as the Festival of Lights.  We gather together as friends, family and loved ones for great holiday cheer and share presents and enjoy potato laktes. And, lighting the menorah.

But behind all this is a great story. This festival celebrates a great victory of the Maccabees over the larger Syrian army during the 2nd century, B.C.   Also, a miracle happened during this time, where just a day’s supply of oil allowed the menorah in the rededicated Temple in Jerusalem to remain lit for eight days.

Maccabees, after Antiochus issued his decrees forbidding Jewish religious practice, a rural Jewish priest from Modin, Mattathias the Hasmonean, sparked the revolt against the Seleucid Empire by refusing to worship the Greek gods. 

War began and the Jews won. This was an important event; Jews rose up against the Greek-Syrian rulers in the Maccabean Revolt and drove them out of Jerusalem. Jews decided to celebrate with a re-dedication of the 2nd temple in Jerusalem. As Jews celebrated their victory over a tyrant king and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, a small quantity of oil remained to light the Temple’s menorah which would last for only a day.   But instead, the menorah oil miraculously lasted eight days. Why 8?  Because a person had to walk to the nearest town for 4 days, and 4 days back. A total of 8. 8 Days of Miracle. 

  • This miracle shows that we are not alone. God is with us always
  • This message is worth celebrating
  • The darkness did not go away and the light is always with us
  • Now we don’t see miracles or prophets that talked with God or Moses with his magic staff, and yet
  • The story is alive as a reminder, and God is near even though God is silent
  • We light candles as much as we light ourselves within, with our loved ones, family and friends
  • It is symbolic as a way for us to connect with miracles and remember we are not alone.

Happy Chanukah. 


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