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© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Hanukkah: Selected full-text books and articles

The Hanukkah Anthology
Philip Goodman.
Jewish Publication Society, 1992
Hanukkah in America: A History
Dianne Ashton.
New York University Press, 2013
Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud: An Introduction
Ira F. Stone.
Jewish Publication Society, 1998
The Jewish Religion: A Companion
Louis Jacobs.
Oxford University Press, 1995
Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History
Ismar Elbogen.
Jewish Publication Society, 1993
Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions
Roland De Vaux; John McHugh.
McGraw-Hill, 1961
Quotations for All Occasions
Catherine Frank; Catherine Frank.
Columbia University Press, 2000
Passport to Jewish Music: Its History, Traditions, and Culture
Irene Heskes.
Greenwood Press, 1994
The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions: A JPS Desk Reference
Ronald L. Eisenberg.
Jewish Publication Society, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Winter Festivals: Hanukkah" begins on p. 244
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