By Talon Reporter Olivia Mitchell
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Snow is (hopefully) falling, lights are being strung from roofs all over town, and holidays are consecutively coming one after another. With many people’s attention focused on Christmas, it is important to remember that there are other religious holidays celebrated during winter months as well. Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday celebrated during late November to late December every year.
Hanukkah began in early B.C. Land of Israel, when it came under control of the king of Syria, who allowed the Jews who lived there to continue to practice their religion. However, his son wasn’t as chill, and outlawed Judaism. His soldiers descended upon Jerusalem, and a rebellion broke out. A Jewish priest called on his followers to rededicate a sacred temple that had been desecrated. However, they only had enough oil to light the light above the Torah for one night. Miraculously, the candle stayed lit for eight days, leaving enough time for a fresh supply to be found.
Victoria Kohner-Flanagan, HRVHS senior, celebrates Hanukkah every year with her family. “Hanukkah is a holiday celebrating light and goodness and joy into the world, and showing that no matter how much darkness surrounds, there will always be light there,” she says. “The fact that Hanukkah is being celebrated around Paris, and San Bernadino, and Colorado Springs, is amazing because it shows that there’s a light in every one of us, and it’s our duty to light everyone else’s flame.” However, it is important to mention that Hanukkah is not the most important holiday in the Jewish religion. “The only reason we get presents is because Christians do.”
With holidays quickly approaching, let’s all take time to appreciate the diversity in culture in our community, and wish each other a merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah.