Tonight is the first night of Chanukah. It is the festival of lights that celebrates the triumph of the Maccabees over Antiochus IV. The Maccabees had rebelled against the Syrian king because he tried to force them to worship the Greek gods.
According to the story, the temple was rebuilt but there was not enough oil to consecrate the temple. God intervened and performed a miracle by allowing the oil to last for 8 days. This is the reason for the lighting of the menorah with an additional candle being lit on each of the eight nights at sundown.
There are many traditions associated with Chanukah. One of the most well known is playing with the dreidel. This is a game played by children where they bet gelt and try to win by spinning a top. Traditional foods for Chanukah include Brisket, Latkes, Potato Kugel and Sufganiyot (jelly doughnut). It is also traditional to give small gifts on each night of Chanukah. As Adam Sandler points out in his song, “instead of one day of presents / we have eight crazy nights!”
Whitener Law Firm wishes everyone a very happy, safe and peaceful Chanukah.