Na Paidreaha Chanuca - Chanukka Prayers

The Greeks invaded Israel over 2000 years ago. They coerced Jews into worshiping their gods. A pagan priest was installed in the temple at Jerusalem. The pagan ruler Antiochas Epiphanes IV had a pig sacrificed on the altar of the temple. To the Jews this was an abomination! A farmer by the name of Judah Maccabee brought his family to the hills and led a resistance movement. Over several generations, the Maccabees defeated the Grecian army. The feast of Chanukka, in early December, celebrates this event and the return of the light of God to the temple at the end of the Maccabean revolution. At Chanukka a special 9 branch menorah or candle holder is lighted. Eight of the candles in the menorah represent the eight nights of the purification of the temple. The ninth candle is used to light the others. Candles should be left burning until they go out on their own. They must burn for more than half an hour. Standard Chanukka candles burn for about an hour. I did not find the story of the one days oil that burned for eight in I Maccabees 4 et seq. so it must come from another source.

Chanukka is celebrated by observant Jews over a period of 8 days. Each evening the prayers are said and an additional candle lighted until all nine are aglow.

Is beannaithe thú, a Thiarna Á nDia, Rí na cruinne, a naomhaigh lena aitheanta sinn agus a chur aithne orainn coinnil an Athchoisreacain a lasadh.

Is beannaithe thú, a Thiarna ár nDia, Rí na cruinne, a rinne fearta dár sinsir sna laethanta sin sa tréimhe seo.

Is beannaithe thú, a Thiarna ár nDia, Rí na cruinne, a bhronn beatha orainn agus a choimeéd sinn, agus a thug go dtí an tréimhse seo sinn.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe, who sanctified us with his commandments and commanded us to light the candles of rededication.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe, who did miracles for our ancestors in those days in this season.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe, who gave us life, and sustained us, and brought us to this season.

"Then Judah and his brothers said: "Now that our enemies have been crushed, let us go up to purify the temple and rededicate it." They went up and found the sanctuary desolate, the altar desecrated, the gates burnt, weeds growing in the courts and the priests' chambers demolished.... Then they took uncut stones according to the law and built a new altar like the former one. They made new sacred vessels and brought the lampstand, the altar of incense and the table into the temple. For 8 days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered holocausts of deliverance and praise. They decreed that the anniversary of the dedication of the altar be observed from that day forward for 8 days each year."
Maccabees 4:36 - 60.

The Jews do not include the book of Machabees in the canon of their scriptures since it was not written in Hebrew. It is in the Christian bible as it was part of the Old testament at the time of Christ.

Background Music: A Chanukka song.
Translation from Gaeilge-B, courtesy of Daniel Nieciecki.