This week marks the beginning of Hanukkah

Mendel left Rabbi Bentzi and Levi Shemtov spin dreidels in anticipation of the start of Hanukkah on Tuesday Dec. 12

Also known as Chanukah, the holiday is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime "festival of lights".

On Wednesday, there will be a public Hanukkah concert at 11 a.m.in the first floor lobby of the Kirklin Clinic.

During the holiday, the Jewish community gives thanks for the miracle of light that occurred when the Maccabees were able to rededicate the ancient temple in Jerusalem for its sacred goal after their victory over the Syrians.

Shabbat Hanukkah: On Friday afternoon, the menorah is lit before the Shabbat candles, so they've burnt for at least one and a half hours before.

It was thought there was only enough olive oil to light candles inside the temple for one night. Since the eight day period is determined by the Hebrew calendar, it doesn't land on the exact same day each year. "It's our responsibility to help one another, to do good, to take care of each other, and to bring more light into our world".

Other Hanukkah traditions include spinning a dreidel, a four-sided top, which partially commemorates a game that Jews under Greek domination are believed to have played to camouflage their Torah study, and eating foods fried in oil, such as latkes, pancakes of grated raw potatoes, and jelly doughnuts.

"At its core, Hanukkah is about peace", said Drew Diamond, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Tulsa. The tradition originated with 17th century Polish Jews giving money to their children to give their teachers during Hanukkah, which led to parents also giving children money.

Melania and I wish all of our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrating this meaningful holiday a happy and healthy eight nights in the company of those they love. We hope that those observing the holiday here, in Israel, and around the world have a wonderful holiday. "The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have endured unthinkable persecution and oppression".

"We're given the capacity, and therefore the obligation, to increase light, and we do it in increasing measure each day, as we light an additional candle", he said.

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