Jews around the world celebrate for eight days starting Tuesday, the first night of Hannukah.
Also called the Festival of Lights, is celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, prayers and fried foods. It celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple. From Chabad.org:
“In the second century BCE, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of mitzvah observance and belief in God. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God.
“When they sought to light the temple's menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks. Miraculously, they lit the menorah and the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.”
The Chabad Jewish Center of the Florida Keys marks the start of the holiday with a menorah lighting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Duval and Front streets. There will be potato pancakes, doughnuts, singing, dancing and other entertainment.
Another menorah lighting is set for Dec. 14 at Bayview Park at Truman Avenue and Jose Marti Drive. It’s from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with blessings offered by Rabbi Shimon Dudai from Congregation B’Nai Zion and Rabbi Jacob Zucker from the Key West Chabad.