The windows of the Holy Temple were wider on the outside than on the inside. Instead of letting in sunlight like other windows, they were supposed to let out the light of the menorah to illuminate the rest of the world.
Maimonides wrote that the menorah in the temple in Jerusalem was adorned with 22 chalices – and all were turned upside down! They symbolize the blessings that G‑d pours on the world.
The Maccabees retook Jerusalem with the help of Jehudit, who snuck into the enemy’s camp, served the leader salty cheese and strong wine, and cut off his head with her sword as he slept.
The disciples of the great sage Shammai lit eight candles on the first day of Hanukkah and then snuffed out one each day because there is less darkness each day. According to Kabbalah, we will all follow this custom in the era of Moshiach.
Did you know that the first eve of Hanukkah never falls on a Monday?
During the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, President Carter attended the first menorah lighting on the White House lawn. It was the first time he had left the White House in 100 days.
The menorah in the temple in Jerusalem had only seven arms. Each carried exactly the same amount of oil, but the lamp closest to the Holy of Holies burned twice as long as the rest.
An estimated 0.5 million latkes will be consumed at public menorah lighting this year.