Tonight at nightfall the special Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, means "rededication" and is an eight-day celebration which starts on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev.
At the heart of Hanukkah is lighting the menorah, a candelabrum of eight candles plus the tall helper shammas which lights the others. A candle is lit each night until all eight, from right to left, burn brightly in a window.
The candles recall the ancient miracle of a single day's oil that kindled for eight days. The glow banishes darkness and reminds others of the season's ongoing miracles of faith.
"Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah."
Each night of Hanukkah is a happy and joyous celebration of family, games, and gifts. Traditional food includes potato pancakes (latkes), chocolate gold coins (gelt), and the spinning of the dreidel (four sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side) to win prizes.
Hanukkah is a rededication of faith and prayers. It is a passionate remembrance of how over 2,000 years ago Jews in Judea maintained their religion and the Maccabees reclaimed the temple on Jerusalem's Mount Moriah.
May Love and Light fill your heart at Hanukkah.