HANUKKAH (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Art and Culture)

News-CRUX-10     8th December 2023        

Context: Recently, Prime Minister of India extended his greetings to the Jewish community in India and around the world on the occasion of Hanukkah.


  • About: Hanukkah, a festival of lights, commemorates events in Jerusalem in 165 BC.
  • Calendar Observance: Begins on the 25th of Kislev, ending on the sacred Zos Chanukah in the Jewish calendar.
  • Timing: Occurs between late November and December in the Gregorian calendar.
  • Temple Rededication: Marks the rededication of the Second Temple during the Maccabean Revolt.
  • Contemporary Celebration: Celebrated from December 18 to 26 this year.

Judainism in Indian 

  • Bene Israel: meaning Children of Israel. Marathi speaking. Arrived in Maharashtra 2,100 years ago.
  • Cochin Jews: arrived in India 2,500 years ago and settled down in Kerala as traders.
  • Baghdadi Jews: Jews who came to India as traders from West Asia, mainly from Baghdad. They are settled mainly in Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata.
  • Bene Menashe: The Manipur Jews constitute a community which sees itself as descendants of the Manasseh (Menashe) Tribe (which is one of the 10 lost tribes of Jews).
  • Bene Ephraim: Also called “Telugu Jews”. They are a small group who speak Telugu. Their observance of Judaism dates to 1981.