Page 14 THE VILLADOM TIMES I & III • December 16, 2009 ������������������ The miracle and tradition behind Chanukah the temple would one day be reclaimed. His act of quiet faith ensured the possibility of the temple’s redemption. Even though the holiday commemorates a military victory, the motto of the holiday comes from the prophet Zechariah: “not by might and not by power but by my spirit says the Lord of hosts.” Rabbis believed that ultimately the only true and lasting victory was that of the spirit. In medieval times it was traditional to give the children spending money on Chanukah. Some believe that the custom originated in the conquest of the Maccabees. When a group ruled, they could begin to mint their own coins: The Romans, Greeks, Babylonians, and Israelites all minted coins. To give children coins on Chanukah both reflected the celebration and the historical memory of sovereignty. Another theory is that the custom originated to enable children in dark winter months to celebrate by buying sweets and giving tzedakah (charity) to others in need. In time, as Christmas became associated with gift-giving, and the holidays fell at the same time in the calendar, Jewish children began to receive presents as well. Nonetheless, presents are not the heart of the holiday. There is absolutely no requirement to give gifts, although gifts of all kinds are often exchanged. Nonetheless, in giving the emphasis should be on those gifts that capture the essence of Chanukah: which highlight the spiritual center of the celebration. The Chanukah is to be placed in the window, in order to publicize the miraculous memory of the restoration of the temple and the Chanukah lights. Contrary to popular belief among nonJews, Chanukah is not a large, spiritual Jewish holiday. The holiday’s religious significance is far less than that of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Passover, and Shavu’ot. However, due to the holiday’s proximity to Christmas (it’s celebrated during the Hebrew month of Kislev, which puts it rather close to Christmas most years), Chanukah gets swept up in much of the fanfare associated with Christmas and other religious holidays celebrated this time of year. Chanukah is at its essence a celebration of oil and the light that flourished in the Jewish Temple -- hence the name “Festival of Lights” given to the holiday. Here is how the story goes: Chanukah is a Jewish winter festival of lights with a powerful historical signifi- cance. In this time the Maccabees revolted against foreign domination. In approximately 165 B.C.E., they finally wrested control of Israel from the Greeks, who had ruled the land and had desecrated the temple. When the temple was reclaimed, the Jews cleaned it out in preparation to offer sacrifices anew. The story of the cruse of oil that was found in the temple, sufficient for one night, that miraculously lasted eight nights, provides the story that is commemorated in the Chanukah -- the menorah lit in Jewish homes on the holiday. (A Chanukah is a menorah that has eight lights; the menorah in the Temple had seven lights.) The hero of the holiday is usually reckoned Judah Maccabee, who led the revolt. However some have suggested that the real hero was the anonymous priest who first hid the cruse of oil. For it was he who believed ���������������� ����������������������������������������������� ������������� �������� ������� ������� Chantilly Lace Give Something Special for the Holidays Largest Selection of Lingerie • Bra & Panty Sets by Chantelle & many more • Nightgowns • Pajamas: Silk, Flannel • Hosiery • Camisoles • Bustiers • Elita Warmwear • Hanky Panky Underwear & Outerwear • Men’s Boxers: Cotton, Silk • Men’s Silk Pajamas SoniCrafter � �����������™ ���������������� ������� ����������������� ������������������������ ��������������������������� ������������������� ��������������� ��������������� ������������ ���������� �������������������� ����������� �������������������� ������ ���������������� �������������������������������� ������������������������ ��������������������������� ��������������� �������������������� ���������������� ����������������� ������������������ �������������������� ��������������������������������������� �������������� ��������������������������������� ������������������ ������������������ ��������������� ������������ � ����� �������������������� ���������������� �������������������������������� ������������������������ ��������������������������� ������������������� ��������������� � ����������� ���������������� ��������������������� ��������������� ����������� � ����� ������� ����� Major Ample 253 Everett Ave, Wyckoff • 201-847-8747 Private Credit Cards Accepted Parking Holiday Hours: Monday - Friday 10-8, Saturday 10-6  Great Stocking Stuffers • Petite to Plus Sizes Gift Certificates • Personalized Service We Special Order Avoid the Mall Madness!  ��������� ������������� ������� ������ ��������� ������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ����������������������������� ������������������