About Hanukkah: the Judaism “Festival of Lights”

The celebration of Hanukkah begins Sunday night, Dec. 18, and runs through Monday, Dec. 26.
The celebration of Hanukkah begins Sunday night, Dec. 18, and runs through Monday, Dec. 26.(Source: Pexels)
Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 3:53 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The celebration of Hanukkah began Sunday night, December 18, and runs through Monday, December 26.

According to Dr. Lilly Filler, the Chair of the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust, the festival recalls the victory of a militarily weak Jewish people who defeated the Syrian Greeks who had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life and prohibit religious freedom.

The Syrian-Greeks also desecrated and defiled the Temple and the oil prepared for the lighting of the menorah, which was part of the daily service. Upon recapturing the Temple only one jar of undefiled oil was found, enough to burn only one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight.

In commemoration Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabrum known as a menorah.

Today, people of all faiths consider the holiday a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, and of light over darkness.

If you would like to know more about the history of Hanukkah, more information is available here.

On Monday, December 19, at 6:00 p.m., Dr. Filler delivered the keynote at the 16th annual Isadore E. Lourie Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony at the State House.

“Dr. Filler’s address presents the perfect opportunity to raise statewide awareness of the rising incidents of Anti-Semitism in the US,” said Rabbi Hesh Epstein Executive Director of Chabad of South Carolina. The ceremony is part of Chabad’s worldwide Hanukkah campaign, an initiative launched by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, in 1973. The campaign highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday — publicizing the story of the Hanukkah miracle.

This event is chaired by Rep. Beth Bernstein and former Senator Joel Lourie. Representatives of the entire Jewish community will gather and participate in this celebration. Governor Henry McMaster, Mayor Daniel Rickenmann, and clergy of all faiths are expected to attend. The event is a project of the Chabad of South Carolina and is co-sponsored by the Columbia Jewish Federation.

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