The Maccabees purified and repaired the Temple, and decided to have a celebration. They wanted to light the menorah, a candelabrum symbolic of the religion, but could only find enough oil to last one day.
Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days, and today Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days and nights by lighting candles in a menorah every evening.
In their wisdom, what Jews celebrate most is not the military victory, but the miracle of the menorah. Hanukkah’s lessons of faith, courage and freedom have taught generation after generation through the centuries.
Hanukkah is a warm and beautiful holiday. If it has also become a small haven for Jews from an incessant barrage of society’s Christmas celebrations, then all the better.
No matter how our Jewish citizens celebrate the holiday, we wish each of them a “Happy Hanukkah,” and a safe and joyous season.