Here are seven things to know about Chanukah | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Here are seven things to know about Chanukah

Chanukah starts Dec. 7!
Here are seven things to know about Chanukah.  

  1. It’s a Hebrew word, so you can spell it different ways. Here at the Chronicle, we like Chanukah. Others prefer Hanukkah. Use whatever works for you! 
  1. A menorah is a candelabrum, including the seven-candle variety that serves as a general symbol of the Jewish people. A menorah specifically for celebrating Chanukah, with two more candles, is a hanukkiah. 
  1. On a hanukkiah, the shamash, or helper candle, is used to light the other eight candles. 
  1. About two thousand years ago, a seven-candle menorah was lit to celebrate the Jewish Maccabees’ victory over their oppressors.  
  1. The miracle was that a single jar of oil lasted for eight nights. 
  1. It’s customary and fun to eat sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts) and latkes (potato pancakes). These are cooked in oil, a nod to the oil that lasted longer than expected.  
  1. Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion gave a hanukkiah to President Harry Truman on his birthday, May 8, 1951. 
A menorah that is a hanukkiah, for use during Chanukah. 
A menorah that is not a hanukkiah, used as a symbol of the Jewish people.