Hanukkah began at sundown Sunday evening, however the Chabad Jewish Center of the Big Island celebrated with a menorah lighting ceremony Tuesday evening at Lanihau Center, complete with doughnuts, latkes and activities for the keiki.
Hanukkah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods.
When they sought to light the temple’s menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks. They lit the menorah and miraculously, the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.
To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Hanukkah.
“This is a message for everyone that with love we can accomplish more and make this world a better place,” said Gerlitzky. “There’s no such thing as too much love.”