DELMAR — Chanukah, the eight-day Jewish celebration of two miracles, began with the lighting of the first Menorah candle onTuesday, Dec. 12.
The first Chanukah miracle was the second-century victory of a small group of Jews, known as the “Maccabees,” over a Greek army that occupied the Holy Land. The second miracle occurred after the liberation of the Holy Temple from the Greeks. Finding only enough oil to fuel the Menorah, which was an important part of daily service in the Holy Temple, for one day, the Menorah miraculously burned for eight days and nights.
The word Chanukah means “dedication” or “induction.” Following their victory, the Maccabees rededicated the Holy Temple.
The holiday begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. The Jewish calendar is primarily based on the lunar cycle, and its dates fluctuate with respect to other calendar systems. So the first day of Chanukah can fall anywhere between November 28 and December 26.
On Sunday, Dec. 17, Bethlehem Chabad in Delmar will hold a celebration called Chanukah at the Chocolate Factory, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.