top of page

Hanukkah: The Timeless Commemoration of Light and Resilience

miniature of a menorah. Image taken from f. 4 of Bible with ~masorah~. Written in Hebrew

Hanukkah Sameach!

Hanukkah, the significant Jewish holiday steeped in historical significance and profound symbolism, commences today at sundown and continues until the twilight of December 15th.

Known interchangeably as Chanukah, this festival spans eight nights, traditionally falling within November or December.

At its core, Hanukkah reveres events dating back over two millennia, particularly commemorating the rededication of Jerusalem's Second Temple. This pivotal restoration arose from the triumphant uprising led by Judah Maccabee and the Jewish populace against the oppressive reign of Syrian-Greek forces. Their aim? To thwart attempts at assimilating Jewish heritage, resulting in the desecration of the revered Temple.

Central to the holiday's significance is the illuminating narrative surrounding the Temple's rededication. According to Talmudic teachings, as the Second Temple was set to be reinstated, only a meagre day's worth of untainted oil was discovered for the sacred menorah—an emblem meant to radiate perpetually. However, this scant supply of oil remarkably endured for eight days. This miraculous occurrence provided ample time for a fresh reserve of oil to be obtained, marking an event perceived as divinely ordained—a profound testament to faith and resilience.

The octennial celebration of Hanukkah thus echoes this miraculous revelation, serving as an enduring symbol of spiritual fortitude and divine intervention. The eight consecutive days of observance symbolise the triumph of hope over adversity and serve as a poignant reminder of the enduring resilience of the Jewish faith.

Throughout the festivities, families and communities unite in lighting the Hanukkah menorah, adding a new flame each night, symbolising the enduring light that dispels darkness. This ritualistic lighting carries profound symbolic resonance, embodying the unwavering endurance of the human spirit and the radiant triumph of faith.

As the holiday season approaches, Hanukkah stands as a beacon of hope and solidarity, resonating far beyond religious boundaries. It encapsulates the universal values of resilience, perseverance, and the triumph of light over darkness—an invitation for all to partake in the illumination of spirits and the celebration of enduring faith.

In this time of reflection and jubilation, may Hanukkah's timeless message inspire us all to cherish the triumph of hope, unite in kinship, and illuminate our lives with the enduring glow of resilience and faith.

Christmas Appeal graphic

Please support our Christmas Appeal

Every year, Mildmay has many patients who are unable to go home for Christmas. Will you help us to provide them with modest but meaningful gifts?




bottom of page