Hanukkah (khä´nəkə, –nŏŏkä), in Judaism, the Festival of Lights, the Feast of Consecration, or the Feast of the Maccabees; also transliterated Chanukah. According to tradition, it was instituted by Judas Maccabeus and his brothers in 165 BC to celebrate the dedication of the new altar in the Temple at Jerusalem. The festival occurs in December near the time of the winter solstice, as does Christmas, and lasts eight days. Hanukkah later came to be linked also with a miraculous cruse of oil that burned for eight days, leading to the practice of lighting special Hanukkah candles, one the first evening, two the second, and so on. The eight-branched candlestand (menorah) used in that ceremony is a frequent symbol for the holiday.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2016, The Columbia University Press.

Hanukkah: Selected full-text books and articles

The Hanukkah Anthology By Philip Goodman Jewish Publication Society, 1992
Hanukkah in America: A History By Dianne Ashton New York University Press, 2013
Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud: An Introduction By Ira F. Stone Jewish Publication Society, 1998
The Jewish Religion: A Companion By Louis Jacobs Oxford University Press, 1995
Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History By Ismar Elbogen Jewish Publication Society, 1993
Quotations for All Occasions By Catherine Frank; Catherine Frank Columbia University Press, 2000
The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions: A JPS Desk Reference By Ronald L. Eisenberg Jewish Publication Society, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Winter Festivals: Hanukkah" begins on p. 244
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