Jewish Community in Ozarks Begins Observance of Hanukkah

Published 12/20 2011 08:13PM

Updated 12/21 2011 11:55AM

(Springfield, MO)--Tuesday night marked the beginning of the 8-day season of Hanukkah, or the Jewish Festival of Lights.
Jews around the world celebrate the holiday over eight days by lighting the candles on a Menorah.   

The ritual commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.   

Rabbi Rita Sherwin of Temple Israel in Springfield says tradition also has it that a candelabra miraculously burned for eight days with only one day's worth of oil.  "A lot of Hanukkah is celebrated in the home where families light menorahs and do blessings in Hebrew and sing traditional songs.  Give presents. Eat traditional foods, most famously the potato pancake called a latka."

Rabbi Sherwin says much like Christmas, the central focus of Hanukkah is peace.

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