DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Last night marked the start of Hanukkah, the holiday for the Jewish faith that dates back thousands of years.
All week long, the Dayton Jewish community is celebrating Hanukkah. The history behind the holiday is why it’s named, “The Festival of Lights”.
A community 4,000 strong in the Dayton area. The story of Hanukkah begins more than 2,100 years ago, when the Greeks invaded what is now known as Israel, suppressing the Jewish people: But the Jewish people fought back.
“There was a small group of Jewish warriors, the Maccabees. They were outnumbered, and they were able to quash the rebellion,” Cathy Gardner, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, said.
That uprising left behind devastation, but what came out of it was a miracle.
“The Greeks had destroyed all of their oil supply, except for a small vial that looked like it would only last for one night, but it lasted for eight nights. And so, in our sacred story, that is the miracle of Hanukkah and that is why we light candles on eight nights…A small group of people could maintain against the most dire odds, could maintain their faith, and even that small bit of oil was there for eight days. And so, from a small bit of energy comes a great deal of good.”
More information about Hanukkah celebrations can be found here.