The Hanukkah Miracle: How One Little Bottle of Oil Lasted Eight Nights?

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When it comes to Hanukkah, there’s always the question of what the holiday is really about. Is it about the miracle of the oil lasting eight nights? Is it about the Maccabees’ victory over the Syrian Greeks? Or is it about something else entirely? 

For some, the holiday is about giving thanks for the miracles that have happened in their lives. For others, it’s a time to reflect on the struggles of the past and to remember that, despite everything, the light always shines through. 

No matter what Hanukkah means to you, there’s one thing that’s for sure: it’s a time to come together with family and friends, to eat, to laugh, and to celebrate.

What is Hanukkah?

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Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the recapture of Jerusalem and the subsequent rededication of the Second Temple at the start of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the late third century BCE.

Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, beginning on the 25th of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar, which can occur at any time between late November and late December in the Gregorian calendar.

The festival is celebrated by lighting the candles on a candelabrum with nine branches, also known as a menorah or hanukiah. One branch is typically placed above or below the others and its candle is used to light the other eight candles. The shammash candle is a one-of-a-kind candle. Each night, one additional candle is lit by the Shammash until all eight candles are lit together on the final night of the festival

The Hanukkah Miracle

Hanukkah marked the day the Jewish regained Jerusalem and the second sacred temple from the Seleukos King in 168 BC.

The event that inspired the holiday of Hanukkah took place during a particularly turbulent period of Jewish history. around 200 BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes reject Jewish laws and religion, forcing Jews to worship Greek gods, In 168 BC, soldiers of Antiochus IV attacked Jerusalem, slaughtering thousands of people and insulting the sacred Second Temple by erecting an altar of Zeus and sacrificing pigs within its sacred walls.

This act of oppression was met with Jewish opposition and revolt, led by the Jewish priest Mattathias and his five sons. When Matthathias died in 166 BC, his son Judah, known as Judah Maccabee, took the helm, and within 2 years, the Jews successfully drove the Syrians from Jerusalem. Judah urged his disciples to clean up the Second Temple, rebuild the altar, and light its menorah – the golden lampshade with seven branches symbolizing knowledge and creativity that burned nightly. 

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The Hanukkah happened when Judah Maccabee and his disciples rebuilt the Second Temple, they did not have enough olive oil to light the golden lamp for one day, But miraculously, the lamp remained lit for eight nights straight, allowing time Judah to find the next source of oil. This is also the inspiration for the Hanukka festival that takes place over eight days and nights with eight candles lit every night.

Traditional Hanukkah Foods

Hanukkah food

Traditional Hanukkah food is composed of fried foods, savory meats, and sweet desserts. Below we go through three essential Hanukkah foods, that are rooted in tradition, making them a meaningful part of your celebration.

Brisket is eaten on many Jewish holidays other than Hanukkah, including Rosh Hashanah and Passover. Brisket became a Jewish food tradition because Kosher practices make it easier to slice brisket meat cuts, and it was historically one of the more affordable meat cuts.

Latkes, commonly known as potato pancakes, are made from shredded or mashed potatoes that have been shallow-fried. Traditionally, Latkes are served with applesauce and sour cream. For a creative twist that remains traditional, serve your potato latkes with popular Israeil spreads such as charoset, tahini, or hummus. 

Hanukkah Gelt is a chocolate coin encrusted with gold foil. Chocolate Hanukkah Gelt is a staple of many Hanukkah celebrations today, whether it’s sprinkled on kitchen and dining room tables, saved for prizes during games, or presented as a gesture or gift. 

Traditional Hanukkah Game

Hanukkah game

As is customary, you can play with a four-sided gyroscope called a dreidel. The dreidel gyrus consists of Hebrew letters: nun, gimmel, hei and shin – short for nes gadol hayah sham (a great miracle happened there). The game is usually played for coins, nuts, or other things, winning or losing based on the letter that dreidel lands when it is filmed. In addition, members of the Jewish family also exchange and give gifts to each other on this holiday.

Celebrate Hanukkah

This holiday season, celebrate Hanukkah with friends and family by giving the gift of light. The Festival of Lights is a time to remember the triumph of good over evil, and what better way to do that than by giving gifts that represent the light of hope and love? At Ink In Action, we have a wide selection of sweatshirts and mugs to choose from, as well as other Hanukkah-themed items to help make your holiday celebrations bright.

This Chanukah, celebrate in style with a Merry Chrismukkah Shirt Hanukkah Shirt Jewish Gift Chanukah Shirt Festival of Light! This cozy crewneck is perfect for celebrating the holiday with family and friends. Made with a soft, comfortable fabric, it’s sure to keep you warm all season long. And with a festive design, it’s the perfect way to show your holiday spirit!


The Hanukkah miracle is a story that teaches us about the power of hope and perseverance. The Maccabees were a small group of Jewish warriors who, against all odds, defeated the mighty Syrian army. This victory allowed the Jews to reclaim their temple and celebrate their holiday of Hanukkah. This story is a reminder that no matter how dark and difficult our situation may be, we should never give up hope.