Menorahs are lit, dreidels are spun and latkes are served as Jewish families across the city celebrate Hanukkah. It is the eight-day Jewish festival that began Dec. 10 and runs through Dec. 18. “Observing Hanukkah gives us the chance to learn about battles and the miracle of lights,” said Madi Friedberg, 9, as her family celebrated the fifth night of Hanukkah on Dec. 14.

Ollie and Madi Friedberg watch the spinning dreidel on the fifth night of the family Hanukkah celebration

According to www.connectionnewspapers.com, “The Jewish festival, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates an early victory in the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire: the recapture of Jerusalem in the year 164 BC and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple. Although a relatively minor holiday in religious terms, Hanukkah has cultural significance due to its occurrence around the same time as Christmas.”

As per www.connectionnewspapers.com, “The term Festival of Lights dates to the rebuilding of the altar of the Second Temple. Part of that rededication included relighting the menorahs. With only enough oil to light the menorah for a single night, the oil instead lasted for eight full nights, thus the Miracle of Hanukkah and why the celebration is observed for eight nights. While Hanukkah is celebrating a miracle, the sacred holidays in Judaism are the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), both observed in the fall.”

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Maryam N. is a Senior Writer at Nesbitt Realty. She is an expert on Fairfax County. Maryam has also worked previously as a geologist. She is a foodie and enjoys cooking and exploring new restaurants.