7 Facts You Never Knew About Hanukkuh

Hanukkah

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To be totally honest, all my knowledge on Hanukkah came from watching “A Rugrats Chanukah” special on Nickelodeon as a kid. I went to a Catholic school, so none of my friends were spinning dreidels – we were waiting for Santa.

What I learned from Rugrats was that Judah was angered by a king who had taken over the Jewish kingdom and forced Greek culture on its people. Judah leads an army of Jewish Maccabees to war against King Antonica’s Empire and wins. The Maccabees rededicate the Holy Temple and discover that there is only enough oil to light the Temple’s eternal flame for one day; miraculously, it remains lit for eight. Those in the Jewish faith celebrate Hanukkah to remember this miracle and remember its message.
No matter what you believe in, these trivia facts will teach you a thing or two about Hanukkah (other than what you learned from Adam Sandler’s song). How many did you not know?
1. The holiday is spelt as both Hanukkah and Chanukah because the guttural Hebrew sound of the first letter cannot be rendered properly in English.
2. Around 24 million oily doughnuts, called sufganiyot, are eaten in Israel during Hanukkah.
3. Hanukkah falls anywhere between November 28 and December 26 because it begins on the twenty-fifth day of the Jewish month of Kislev. The Jewish calendar is primarily based on the lunar cycle, and its dates fluctuate with respect to other calendar systems.
4. Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Torah.
5. Hanukkah made its first appearance at the White House in 1951, when Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion gave Harry Truman a menorah as a gift.
6. Spinning the dreidel was originally done to trick Greek guards when students were learning about the Torah illegally. They would just pretend they were playing the game when they walked by.
7. One traditional potato latke has about 150 calories.

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