Jewish Families in the Two Rivers Gather to Celebrate Hanukkah

December 23, 2011

Rabbi Harry Levin of the Open Synagogue leads a song during the lighting of the Menorah in Red Bank Tuesday night, the first day of Hanukkah, the eight day festival of lights that commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over their oppressors, who forbade Jews to practice their religion. Following the battle, the Jewish army reclaimed their temple, and though they found only enough oil to light the candles for one night, the oil lasted for eight days. Jews around the globe celebrate the miracle by lighting one candle on the menorah for each of the eight days of the festival, enjoying family gatherings featuring potato pancakes, jelly doughnuts and other foods fried in oil, playing games and exchanging gifts. Though not considered a major religious holiday on the Jewish calendar, it has become a important time for Jewish families to enjoy gathering togather in celebration of their faith and culture. This year's observance last from Dec. 20 until Dec. 28.



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