Hanukkah

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Medieval Hanukkah – Jewish holidays

By |2017-08-24T11:55:10+00:00August 24th, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Arch of Titus: Roman soldiers carry off the big menorah from the Second Temple in Jerusalem (70 AD, but the arch was built in the 80s AD) In 70 AD, after the First Jewish Revolt, the Roman emperor Titus destroyed the Second Temple. Titus plundered the menorah along with other treasures from the Temple. He brought it back to [...]

Maccabees – Jewish history

By |2017-10-09T17:20:27+00:00August 24th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Alexander the Great Under the Persians the Jews did very well. They were able to worship their own God, and even to travel around the Persian Empire converting people to Judaism. But in 331 BC Alexander the Great, who was from Macedon, conquered the Persian Empire and "liberated" (as he called it) the Jews from Persian rule. [...]

What is Hanukkah? – Jewish holidays

By |2017-08-24T00:17:17+00:00August 24th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Canaanite amphora, for olive oil or wine (Bronze Age, about 1300 BC) Like all other farming communities, Jewish people celebrated harvest festivals when important crops were safely harvested and stored. One of these harvest festivals was Passover, in March or April, when the first of the spring barley was ripe. Another was Sukkot, in October, celebrating the fruit harvest. Hanukkah, [...]

Hanukkah projects – Jewish holidays

By |2018-04-09T23:07:29+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Potato latkes cooked in oil are a traditional Hanukkah food Hanukkah is first and foremost a holiday about olive oil, so a good way to get to know Hanukkah better is to fry some kind of food in olive oil. Usually people make latkes, or grated vegetable pancakes. Here's a super-healthy recipe for latkes that [...]

Dreidel project – Hanukkah games

By |2018-04-09T23:07:29+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

A Hanukkah dreidel Since the 1700s AD, people have often celebrated Hanukkah by playing the dreidel game. The first thing you need to play the dreidel game is a dreidel. It's better to buy a dreidel (DRAY-dell) because if you make your own it's very difficult to get it to play fair: it's always going to land [...]

Diwali – the Festival of Lights – Hinduism – India

By |2017-07-21T08:36:06+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Flowers and Diwali lamps Diwali is a Sanskrit word originally meaning "a row of lights" - "dipa" is the Sanskrit word for "light". Diwali is an Indian harvest festival celebrating the end of the hard work of harvesting food. People celebrate that now there is plenty of food to last through the winter. Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains all celebrated Diwali [...]