Chanukah, voices of lights

A radio program by the European Institute for Jewish Music, hosted by Hervé Roten

MUSIQUES JUIVES D’HIER ET D’AUJOURD’HUI - TUESDAY DECEMBER 16TH 2014, JUDAÏQUES FM (94.8), 21H05

The celebration of Chanukah - sometimes called the Festival of Lights - celebrates the victory of the Maccabees against the Hellenistic dynasty of the Seleucids, in the 2nd century BC. Like Purim, this festival symbolizes the spiritual resistance of Judaism to any attempt of annihilation.

In - 168, the Seleucid king Antochios IV publishes an edict of abolition of the Jewish law. Temple worship, festivals and circumcision are outlawed, with death penalty for those who continue to observe the Shabbat. The Temple of Jerusalem is dedicated to the Greek god Zeus.
These events bring about the revolt of the Maccabees. Led by Mattathias and his sons (including Judah), they manage to deliver Jerusalem and its Temple after 3 years of struggle.

Chanukah - which in Hebrew means "edification" - commemorates the re-inauguration of the altar of offerings in the second Temple of Jerusalem. According to the rabbinic tradition, during this consecration occurs the miracle of the vial of oil, allowing the priests of the Temple to burn for eight days a quantity of oil barely enough for a day.

The practices and customs associated with this holiday are related to the miracle of the oil vial, especially the lighting of the Chanukah eight-branch candelabra during the eight days of the festival, and the eating of sweets made from olive oil (latkes, soufganiot ...). Children also play with four-sided spinning tops. And the joy is expressed with the omnipresent music, as the last verse of the hymn Maoz tsour underlines: Az egmor beshir mizmor `hanoukat hamizbea`h (We will celebrate and sing your holy altar restored).

The cantor and rabbi Jacques Arnold will offer us a luminous and musical vision of this festival: from liturgical tunes of Chanukah to children’s songs (spinning top, dougnuts ...) and popular songs (Judeo-Spanish, Judeo-Arab, Yiddish ...).

Hanouka, voix de lumière - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

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  • Hanouka, voix de lumière - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

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