Acadiana celebrates the beginning of Hanukkah - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Acadiana celebrates the beginning of Hanukkah

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LAFAYETTE, La -- Tuesday night begins the first night of Hanukkah. The eight-day celebration commemorates the re-dedication of the second temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend, Jews rose up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors to reclaim their temple. To celebrate they lit a menorah with what little oil they had on hand.

"The Jews of Lafayette, they came here as early as the early 1800s and the actual temple was founded in 1869," said Zack Stein, a digital archivist at UL-Lafayette -- and a member of the Lafayette Jewish community.

Often called the "Festival of Lights," the holiday is also celebrated with traditional foods, games and gifts. A rabbi at Lafayette's Temple Shalom says bout 70 Jewish families will celebrate Hanukkah at its synagogue over the next week.

"You know, especially when we were going through certain hardships, we still persevered," Stein said. "I feel like that's something people should keep in mind when thinking about Hanukkah in particular and Judaism in general."

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