National Menorah Lit for First Night of Hanukkah

Jews around the world began celebrating the first of eight nights of Hanukkah on Tuesday. In Washington D.C., Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew helped light the National Hanukkah Menorah. The White House began its menorah lighting tradition in 1979 under President Jimmy Carter. Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, commemorates the victory of a small Jewish army over the Assyrians thousands of years ago in a war for religious freedom. After the battle, a small amount of oil left at the Jews’ defiled temple miraculously provided light for eight days. "To this day we remember the miracle of the oil as well as the miracle of the few defeating the mighty, as well as the miracle of people caring enough about their faith to struggle for it,” Rabbi Kalman Winnick of Congregation Agudath Achim in Little Rock, Ark., told NBC station KARK.

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