Chanukkah Info Search Answers

Here are the answers to Parts 1 and 3 of the Chanukkah Info Search.

The questions for Part 2 have many possible answers. They were included as study questions to spark research, discussion and prayer.

Part One

1.   In what historical books can we find the story of Chanukkah ?

The main references are: 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees in the Apocrypha. Additional information can be found in the works of Josephus, the Talmud, The Scroll of Antiochus, the book of Daniel to name a few.

2.   What is the Apocrypha?

It is a collection of 14 biblical-era books of the Septuagint. The Septuagint is a very old translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and extra biblical books that was finished by 135 BCE. It predates the Masoretic Text, which was copied and edited during the7th to 10th centuries after Y’shua birth, so it is a more modern translation. The Septuagint seems to be the translation that most of the New Testament verses are quoted from.

3.   How often will there be a Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) on the first night of Chanukkah?

Never. The Hebrew calendar cycles with the moon and the first day of the month coincides with the new moon. Chanukkah begins on the 25th day of the Ninth month or Kislev. That is 24 days past the New Moon.

4.   Chanukkah and Purim are Hebrew Holidays. Why are they different from other Hebrew Holidays?

There are seven Biblical Feasts of the Lord that we are commanded to keep. Chanukkah and Purim are Historical Holidays sanctioned by the ancient Jewish sages. They have historical and prophetic value but they are not among the set apart moedim of YHWH. 

5.   Judah Maccabee was not his real name. Why do we use Maccabee as his last name?

According to the Jewish Book of Why by Alfred J Kolatch, the word maccabee is an acrostic created by joining the first letter of the Hebrew words Mi kamocha ba’elim Adonai  which means “Who among the mighty is like Thee O Lord?” There are two theories: 1.) it was the battle cry against the Syrian-Greeks during the battles. 2.) It is the Hebrew word for ‘Hammer’ derived from the root makav. Judah who lead the revolt was given this name because of his great strength and conviction.

6.   Chanukkah is celebrated for eight days. What other Biblical Feast is observed for eight days with much celebration?

The Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot lasts for seven days + one extra day, Shimini Atzeret. This is the ‘eighth’ day. 

7.   Which biblical prophet, prophesied about the events leading up to Chanukkah? Where is this located in Scripture?

Daniel chapter 8

8.   The word Chanukkah is mentioned one time in the Bible, where?

John 10:22 & 23

9. What other holiday, observed at this time of year, uses a   base and seven candles? 

Kwanzaa, the Pan-African festival. The base or candle holder is usually wooden and the candles can all be an even height or stepped. The colors of the candles are usually red, black and green.

Part Two – For Deeper Study and Thought

1.   What are the similarities between the Chanukkah story and the story of Hadassah (Esther)?

2.   Why do many Torah followers believe that the story of Chanukkah may be repeated in the future?

3.   List some of the connections between Chanukkah and Sukkot

4.   Look up the case County of Allegheny vs ACLU to see what the argument in downtown Pittsburgh, PA was all about. The court ruled that “…both Christmas and Hanukkah…have attained a secular status in US society.” Why is this proclamation sad and what does it say about the country in which we live? How can we personally redeem this secular attitude?

5.   What positive values can we learn from the story of Hannah and her sons, as written in the Book of Macabees?

6.  Yahshua said that we were to be a lights, what is the scripture reference for this verse? Where in the TaNaK can we find a similar verse?

7.  Chanukkah has many themes and the cleansing and re-dedication of the Temple is one of them. Scripture calls us the Temple of the Ruach haKodesh, where is this scripture found? What are some of the ways that we can stay ‘clean’ and keep our bodily temples dedicated for the service of Yahweh?

8. A seven branched menorah holds seven lights. Where in scripture can we see seven spirits as lights on the menorah?

9. A nine branched menorah/chanukkiah holds nine lights. Read 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, how many gifts?

Part Three – Fun Trivia – You may need the Library and/or the Internet to find the answers

1.   On December 2, 1763 the first night of Chanukkah that year, a synagogue was consecrated. It is the oldest existing synagogue in the United States, where is it located?

The Touro Synagogue is in Newport, Rhode Island

2.   The first US postage stamp commemorating Hanukkah was issued in what year?

1996 – it was a joint project between the USA and Israel. An image of a brightly colored menorah designed by Hannah Smotrich is printed on that stamp, which, was printed in Clinton, South Carolina.

3.   The five Hebrew characters that spell Chanukkah in Hebrew mean something besides dedication, what is it?

The first three letters spell Chanu – Hebrew for “they rested.” the next two letters stand for numerals: 20+5=25. Together, the letters can also stand for “on the 25th day of the Ninth month, they rested from their enemies.”

4.   Hanukkah lights are kindled with a blowtorch across an international boundary, where is this? 

In 1996, Menorahs were placed on both sides of Niagara Falls: in Canada and in the USA. They are lit with a blowtorch to this day.

5.   The play, Judah Maccabeus, was written by which famous writer?

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

6.   Author Emily Solis-Cohan, wrote a short story about George Washington, a young boy named Judah and the state of Pennsylvania. What is the name of that short story?

Hanukkah at Valley Forge

7.   If you light candles each of the eight nights of Chanukkah, and don’t reuse any of them, how many candles will you have kindled by the end of the holiday?

Forty five

8.   Where on Earth can you watch a rabbi get into a cherry picker and be lifted into the sky to light a menorah that is more than 65 feet tall and weighs more than 18 tons? 

Latrun in Jerusalem along the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway.

9.  Within Scripture, can find any other events that took place on the 25th day of the Ninth month or Kislev 25?

Genesis 9; Noah sited the rainbow on this date. This is seen by the Sages as a promise of another event that would take place on this date in the future. For more on this: Hanukkah FAQ.


For the questions without the answers: Chanukkah Info Search


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