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Hanukkah , also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, and may occur from late November to late December on the Gregorian calendar.

The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a special candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. An extra light called a shamash (Hebrew: “guard” or “servant”) is also lit each night, and is given a distinct location, usually higher or lower than the others. The purpose of the extra light is to adhere to the prohibition, specified in the Talmud (Tracate Shabbat 21b–23a), against using the Hanukkah lights for anything other than publicizing and meditating on the Hanukkah story. (The shamash is used to light the other lights.) As such, if one were to read from the lights—something prohibited—then it is not clear whether the light one is reading from was from the Hanukkah lights or the shamash light. So the shamash acts as a safeguard from accidental transgression.

The image was shot on the 8 night of Hanukkah December 28 2008 in Jerusalem.

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night, people, light, orange, holiday, candles, religion, candle, jerusalem, jewish, jew, israel, cohen, jews, hanukkah, moshe, moshemc, jerusalem_night, candle_light, moshe_cohen

Comments

  • Moshe Cohen
    Moshe Cohenover 5 years ago

  • Eyal Nahmias
    Eyal Nahmiasover 5 years ago

    I love the composition and the description is very informative. I do find the blacks too dense creating a one dense group of people. but this is just my subjective view. Thanks for sharing with the Art of the Middle East group.

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