The meaning of Hanukkah

Religious By Rabbi Mendy Weiss Thursday, November 18, 2021

     Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights, begins this year on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 28 and concludes the evening of Monday, Dec. 6. 

      It recalls the victory of a militarily weak Jewish people.  The Jews 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 Syrians also desecrated and defiled the temple and the oils prepared for the lighting of the menorah, which was part of the Jewish daily worship service. 

      Upon recapturing the temple, only one jar of undefiled oil was found, enough to burn for only one day.  But miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days. 

      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, of light over darkness. 

      At 7 p.m. on Nov. 29, Chabad Miami Lakes and community officials will light a 9-foot-tall public menorah in front of town hall.

       It will be one of 15,000 large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad in 100 countries.

       There will be dancing to Hanukkah music played by a DJ, singing and latkes (fried potato cakes) and donuts will be served.

        The menorah serves as a symbol of Miami Lakes’ dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship G-d freely, openly, and with pride.

       This is true especially in America, a nation that was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion, free from restraint and persecution. 

     “The message of Hanukkah is the message of light,” said Tzippy Weiss. “The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. 

     “Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference,” she said.

     For more information about menorah lightings elsewhere go to: