(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The eight-day holiday of Hannuka marks the miracle during the
the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Tradition has it that at this time the
Jews rose up against their Syrian/Greek oppressors in the Maccabean
revolts. The revolt led by Judah Maccabee successfully drove the Syrians out of Jerusalem. In celebration of the victory the Second Temple was to be cleansed, rededicated and its golden menorah lit.
The sacred oil that they had was only meant to last one night, and instead it lasted eight. This is what is known as the Hannuka miracle and the reason that the celebration lasts eight nights.
The holiday is traditionally celebrated with the lighting of
the menorah, exchanging of gifts, playing dreidel, and of course eating. Like
most other Jewish holidays, Hannuka has foods that can be said to
represent the holiday. As oil is a key symbol of the holiday, eating
foods that use the ingredient is encouraged, and sufganiyot are no