Friday, November 30, 2012

The Story of Hanukkah

The story of Hanukkah starts more than twenty one centuries in the past. The Jewish Holy Land was ruled by people who fought to Hellenize the people of Israel. A small group of Jews defeated one of the largest armies and drove them away. The Jews reclaimed the Holy Temple and rededicated it to the service of God. They went to light the Temple’s menorah, only to find they had only a single container of oil – enough to last one day. However, that single container of oil burned for eight days.
At the center of the festival of Hanukkah is the lighting of the Menorah each night. One candle is lit the first night, and allowed to burn until it burns itself out. Each night an additional candle is lit – on the second night two, on the third night three, and so on – on the final night of Hanukkah, all eight candles are lit.

Sterling Silver Kiddush Cup
Prayers are repeated each night, giving praise to God for "delivering the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few... the wicked into the hands of the righteous."
Of course, food plays a part in the customs surrounding Hanukkah. Especially foods cooked in oil, such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (doughnuts). 

Vintage Tablecloth Blue & White

Spinning a dreidel, marked with the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hei and shin is enjoyed. The letters represent “A great miracle happened there.”

Let’s not forget the giving of gelt, or gifts of money, to children!  Chocolate gelt often replaces the giving of money these days. We always share gold foil wrapped chocolate morsels with the children at all our gatherings.

Burgess and Leigh Flow Blue Dresden Platter
The colors of blue and white or blue and silver are used in many homes when decorating for this special celebration. The colors are thought to either represent the blue of the water and the white of the clouds in the sky, or the blue and white colors in the flag of Israel. It depends on who shares the story with you.

Libbey Rock Sharpe 'Artic Rose'Cordials

The miracle of Hanukkah is cause for celebration! 
Eat, drink and be festive! Celebrate the triumph of the light over darkness.

Open salts with cobalt glass liners


  About the Author

 Cathy Heidemann Overfield is on Staff at Got Vintage Shops and owns and operates Charmed Life Collectibles on Ruby Lane, and Charmed Collectibles on Etsy.