Dal Sabzi for the Aatman Dal Sabzi for the Aatman Dal Sabzi for the Aatman Dal Sabzi for the Aatman Dal Sabzi for the Aatman  
  ‼  Aum, Asato maa sadgamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya  ‼  
     

 

JEWISH FESTIVALS: CHANUKAH &  PASSOVER

Chanukah is a festival of Lights (December)

It is celebrated in Jewish homes and synagogues during the month of  December for eight days.

It commemorates the victory of the Jews over the Greek rulers.

This Festival revolves around the family. It was because of the courage of five brothers, who fought bravely and died a violent death that the Jews were saved from annihilation.

The Jews recognize the strength of a united family. Jews also urge their fellow men to appreciate the ‘unseen things’ that bring happiness in life.

The miracle that Chanukah celebrates came about thus: The oil, which could have kept the candelabrum alight for 1 day, lasted for 8 days.

During Chanukah one candle is lit on the first night, two on the second and so on, until on the eighth day, 8 candles are lit. In India, Jews light oil lamps. Gifts are exchanged and Jews eat potato pancakes and doughnuts made with oil. Food and clothing is distributed in charity or tzedakah to the needy.

In short, Chanukah reminds us about the strength of a family, the miracles of faith and the the Lights that lead us to recognize subtle truths and eternal wisdom.

A Reader asked:

Hi Shakun,

I loved the story of Chanukah. Can you share with me what exactly the five brothers did that helped the preservation of Jews?
Thanks

I replied:

This Festival revolves around the family. It was because of the courage of five brothers, who fought bravely and died a brutal death that the Jews were saved from annihilation.

The Jews recognize the strength of a united family. Jews also urge their fellow men to appreciate the ‘unseen things’ that bring happiness in life.

The family teaches one about love, sharing, caring, values and sacrifice. It is the strong family that teaches us strength. These values have contributed to the survival of the Jews despite odds. Maybe the death of the five brothers inspired the Jews through the ages…

PASSOVER (April)

Another very important Jewish Festival is 'Pesach'.

Pesach derives its origin from 'passah' meaning to 'pass over'

It is celebrated for 8 days.

Pesach is also known as 'Cheruthenu' (The season of Liberty) and Hagmatzoth, the feast of unleavened bread.

When a famine hit Canaan, Jacob and his family settled on the east bank of the Nile. Jacob's descendants grew in number, their condition got worse and they eventually became slaves of the pharaohs for 210 years.

Moses asked the pharaoh to set his people free, but the pharaoh refused.

When 10 plagues hit , the Hebrew slaves were set free.

That is how the 'Passover' came to pass.

Since the slaves left in haste, they were only able to carry unleavened dough. 

In the Jewish tradition, the sacredness of mealtimes is stressed.

During the entire week of the Passover, unleavened bread is eaten, known as 'matza'

The ceremonial meal consists of: Leaf of parsley dipped in salty water and horse radish

It symbolizes: Spring and new life dipped in tears. The horse radish stands for the bitterness of slavery.

There is a special cup filled with vine for Prophet Elijah, who Jews believe visits every home and brings with him, happy tidings.

Jews believe that when one enjoys the good things in life, one remembers that they belong to God. One recognizes that everything is linked to His presence.

 
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