Festival of Lights Started at Sundown
Eight day Jewish holiday of Chanukah started Dec. 1.
Chanukah which celebrates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem twenty one centuries ago after it was sacked by the Seleucid empire will be celebrated by Concord Jews this week and next.
The eight day celebration which falls during different times each year, depending on the Jewish calender, commemorates the miracle of the temple's oil which was only supposed to light the candelabra for one day but instead lit it for eight. The candelabra is lit from right to left.
In honor of the holiday, Congregation Kerem Shalom will host a sing along at Debra's Natural Gourmet in West Concord with free homemade latkes (potatoes deep fried in oil to honor the miracle) on Dec. 8. The Congregation will also celebrate Chanukkah with a "mostly music Shabbat" at the congregation's building on Dec. 3.
At the same time Chabad of Concord and Acton will host their own celebration on Dec. 5 at the Concord Scout House. This will include a magic show by performer Tommy Jones, face painting, a silent auction and a Chanukkah film according to Chabad, whose website gives directions on how to play dreidal, a Chanukkah game which involves a four sided spinning top.
It is the custom to leave a lighted menorah near a windowsill or somewhere where it can be seen from the outside, although sometimes this is not possible due to safety reasons. Family and friends will often exchange small gifts during Chanukkah. The holiday ends at sundown on Dec. 8.