JERUSALEM — The rabbi of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, will light a lamp tonight to begin Hanukkah, an eight-day festival celebrating the short-lived creation of a Jewish state in 160 BC.
Rabbi Yehuda Meir Getz will light the first of eight lamps at the wall at 6 p.m. to start Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. An additional candle will be lighted each day for the next seven days in a ceremony that will be duplicated in Jewish homes and synagogues throughout the world.
The holiday commemorates the victory by the Maccabees over the Syrians, Greeks and Romans in 160 BC to win short-lived freedom, the last time a Jewish state existed until 1948, when modern Israel was established.
Burned 8 Days
The eight lights symbolize a single flask of oil that, according to tradition, during the battle should have burned for only one day but instead burned for eight days.