Tonight is the first of the 8 nights of Hannukah. While off in Virginia celebrating Christmas with my awesome (non-Jewish) boyfriend and then holding down the fort in Mission Control, I'll also be celebrating Hannukah by lighting candles every night.
Check out my Menorah, which I've had since I was 13 (2 candles tonight, add a new candle each day):
one of the main obligations of Hannukah is publicizing the miracle
(putting your Menorah in the window, lighting them in public squares,
etc) I'll post one Hannukah FAQ/factoid each night.
Here we are, for night 1:
Q: Whats all Hannukah about?
A: We celebrate that the Jewish
forces (the Maccabees) defeated the
Greeks, and took back the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, even though outnumbered. There they found
only a little bit of oil left for the Temple's Menorah (which was lit
daily in the Temple sanctuary). The miracle is that the little bit of
oil in the Menorah burned for 8 days, until more oil arrived. The name
Hannukah comes from the Hebrew word for dedication, a reference to how
they had to rededicate the Temple after Greek soldiers defiled it and outlawed its use. In grand Jewish Holiday tradition, the Hannukah
story follows this simple formula: They tried to kill us. We won. Let's celebrate! (See also: Purim and Passover)
If you have any Hannukah questions, send them my way (add a comment, tweet me, email me) and I'll add your answer to a future night.