• Issue: December 2014
  • Designer: Rinat Gilboa
  • Stamp Size: 30 mm x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 969
  • Security mark: Microtext
  • Sheet of 15 stamps, Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Cartor Security Printing, France
  • Method of printing: Offset

Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabean victory over their enemies, the Hellenistic kings of the House of Selvecus, and the miracle that occurred when worship resumed at the Temple in Jerusalem.

In 167 BCE, King Antiochus IV forbade the Jewish residents of Eretz Israel to study the Torah and practice the Jewish mitzvoth (commandments). Matityahu the Hasmonean and his sons led the revolt against the cruel rulers, battling heroically and successfully liberating Jerusalem and the Temple.

The Babylon Talmud (Tractate Shabbat 21 b) describes how the Maccabees found only one small cruse of pure oil, enough to light the Temple menorah for a single day. A miracle occurred and this oil lasted for eight days, until more pure oil could be prepared. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days as a reminder of this miracle.

It is customary to light candles in windows or doorways on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah to make this miracle known. Over the years, Jewish communities in Israel and throughout the world have developed different types of "Hanukkah lamps" in which eight candles may be lit. These lamps are known as Menorahs.

During Hanukkah it is also customary to eat food fried in oil, such as deep-fried jelly-filled donuts, to commemorate the miracle. Children play with spinning tops called dreidels and they are given Hanukkah pocket money.

top top