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First Night of Hanukkah
"Blessed are you,
Our God, Ruler of the Universe,
who makes us holy through Your commandments,
and commands us to light the Hanukkah lights."
~ Traditional Hanukkah Blessing
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt during the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December. Eight candles are lit on successive days, marking an event described in Talmudic writings 600 years after the events described in the Old Testament books of Maccabees: After the forces of Antiochus IV had been driven from the Temple, the Maccabees discovered that almost all of the ritual olive oil had been profaned. They found only a single container that was still sealed by the High Priest, with enough oil to keep the menorah in the Temple lit for a single day. They used this, yet it miraculously burned for eight days! Today's Chanukah celebrations may include traditional foods such as latkes and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), songs, games, and gifts. Happy Hanukkah! 🕎 🕯️🔯
According to the Talmud, one of Judaism’s most central texts, Judah Maccabee and the other Jews who took part in the rededication of the Second Temple witnessed what they believed to be a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued flickering for eight nights, leaving them time to find a fresh supply. This wondrous event inspired the Jewish sages to proclaim a yearly eight-day festival. (The first Book of the Maccabees tells another version of the story, describing an eight-day celebration that followed the rededication but making no reference to the miracle of the oil.)
This tartan designed not only for the Jewish population in Scotland, but for Jews and non Jews anywhere in the world, was Initiated by Rabbi Mendel Jacobs of Glasgow it was designed by Brian Wilton of the Scottish Tartans Authority. The central gold line on navy blue represents the gold from the Biblical Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant and the many ceremonial vessels. The silver is from the Scroll of Law and the red represents the traditional Kiddush wine. The brightest section of the tartan is the blue and white of the Israeli flag. There are seven lines in the central motif and three in the flag - both numbers of great significance in the Jewish world.
For more on Hanukkah customs, click the menorah!