Starting this past Sunday, Jews around the world have been celebrating the festival of Chanukah. If you’re like me, your knowledge of Chanukah comes either from the 1990’s Rugrats special or The Nanny. Then, there was Adam Sandler and his Chanukah Song. The first version debuted on a 1994 episode of SNL, but there have since been three other versions. This one is the newest and was only released a couple of weeks ago.
From what I understand, Chanukah celebrates the fact that the Maccabees, fighting against their Greek and Syrian oppressors, didn’t give up on what they knew was right and despite most aspects of their religion being illegal, they still practiced it. In the end, they won their war, but when attempting to rededicate their temple, which was defiled by the Greeks, they realized that they only had a small amount of oil that could be used in the menorah. It was only supposed to last one night, but somehow ended up being enough for eight nights, which was how long it would take to prepare more usable oil. This is the reason Chanukah is known as the Festival of Lights.
If you want more information about Chanukah, this website has some interesting information, including religious songs, a virtual dreidel game, and a recipe for latkes, which the author informs us in pronounced differently depending on where their grandmother comes from (lol).