Festival of lights

English: Hanukkah menorah, known also as Hanuk...
Image via Wikipedia

Today, or more correctly, this evening is the start of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.  This festival marks the re-dedication of the Jerusalem Temple following the Maccabean uprising.  Josephus describes it like this:

“Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the temple for eight days, and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon; but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honored God, and delighted them by hymns and psalms. Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs, when, after a long time of intermission, they unexpectedly had regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for their posterity, that they should keep a festival, on account of the restoration of their temple worship, for eight days. And from that time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it Lights. I suppose the reason was, because this liberty beyond our hopes appeared to us; and that thence was the name given to that festival.

…and on a ligher note, this from the Maccabeats:

May the light shine into your darkness!

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