At sunset on Sunday, December 22, 2019, Jews will begin the 8-day celebration of Hanukkah. It commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greek army, and the subsequent rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and miracle of the rekindling of its menorah.
The story of Hanukkah is a mixture of history and legend. According to history,
In 167 B.C., a Syrian officer brought an unnamed Jew to the temple [Second Temple] and forced him to make a sacrifice to Zeus. A priest named Mattathias witnessed the event. He slew them …
It truly is a magical time of the year. It is magical in the way it seems to transform individuals—children and adults—to kinder, happier people. The effect that the Christmas season has on our mood, our attitude, is undoubtedly positive. We are nicer, more apt to laugh and play and party. We are quicker to share, to give, to be generous.
For some of us older adults, however, the Christmas season also means that our grief is heightened and our sadness deepened as we become more mindful of what we may have lost in the way of health, money, companionship, independence….
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