CBC Digital Archives

Menorahs light up Hanukkah

Tired of the holiday hustle and bustle? Pour yourself a cup of eggnog, pull a chair up to the warm glow of the computer monitor and embrace the month of December with CBC Digital Archives. In the spirit of the season of sharing, we've unearthed a trove of Radio and TV clips about Christmas, Hanukkah, the winter solstice and Kwanzaa.

Laden with 3,000 years of tradition and deep spiritual significance, the menorah is the central symbol of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. For eight nights, candles are lit on the menorah to remind Jews of the miracle when sacred oil expected to last one night kept burning for eight nights. In this 1980 CBC-TV news item, reporter Martin Himel meets an artist for whom the menorah continues to be a source of inspiration. 
• Hanukkah often falls around the same time as Christmas, though the differences between the Jewish calendar and the Gregorian calendar mean the date changes yearly. For example, Hanukkah began on Dec. 26 in 2005 but starts on Nov. 28 in 2013.

• Certain foods have symbolic meaning at Hanukkah, especially latkes, or potato pancakes. The oil used to fry them is a reminder of the miraculous oil. Sufganiyot, or doughnuts with a fruit filling, are also traditional at Hanukkah.

• Hanukkah is not an especially important Jewish festival; unlike Passover, Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, there is no prohibition on working during its observance. Gift-giving is not a traditional part of Hanukkah, although children do receive gelt, or coins.

• The menorah seen behind host George McLean at the start of this clip is not a Hanukkah menorah. Rather, it is a menorah that is the symbol of Israel. Hanukkah menorahs have space for nine candles: one for each of Hanukkah's eight days and a ninth that holds the candle used to light the others.   

Medium: Television
Program: Sunday Evening News
Broadcast Date: Nov. 30, 1980
Host: George McLean
Reporter: Martin Himel
Duration: 2:45

Last updated: December 5, 2013

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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