This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8, and ends a week later on Sunday, Dec. 16.
According to Chabad.org, Hanukkah starts on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. For those of us who aren't attuned to the Jewish calendar, that translates to sundown on Saturday, Dec. 8.
At Temple Emanu-El, a Shabbat Dinner will follow tonight's 6 p.m. services. Rabbi Meyer will reflect back on taking part, 25 years ago on this date, in the largest solidarity rally in American Jewish history, and its significance for the approach of Hanukkah.
"Enjoy a meal together, with some wine, smoozing, and even having a bit of Latke-mania to anticipate the start of our Hanukkah festival," read a post on the temple's Facebook page.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the story of the Maccabean Revolt against Syrian rulers in present day Israel 2,300 years ago. The Maccabees wanted to rededicate Jerusalem's main temple but had only enough oil to kindle the Eternal Light for one day. The oil lasted for eight days, according to the story, and the holiday of Hanukkah was born.
Today, Jews generally celebrate by gathering together with family, lighting one candle on the menorah each of the eight nights, playing dreidel and eating special holiday foods such as potato latkes and babka.
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