As Hanukkah is celebrated around the world this week, oil has a very special significance. But to a bystander like myself, I have never been sure as to—why?
“The real miracle of Hanukkah is that the Jewish army won the war against the Greeks,” explains Devon Portney, a former Hebrew teacher. “When they returned to the desecrated temple, they wanted to purify it by burning the remaining oil in the candelabra. But there was only enough oil to last for one day, but somehow it lasted for eight, which is why we celebrate for eight days.”
Oil not only has huge religious significance at this time of year—traditional Hanukkah fried food is quite irresistible, latke’s anyone—i
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