ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - "This is a holiday that says 'no' claim your identity be proud of who you are," said Rabbi Binah Wing, Temple Beth – El.
The meaning of the word Hanukkah is dedication referring to when the Jews fought to take back their temple in Israel from the Greek- Syrian's who were forcing their culture on to the Jewish people.
"So they fought for the right to do that and they got the temple back and then they cleaned it and rededicated it," Wing said.
During that rededication, the Jews lit the temple menorah and a miracle happened.
"They only had enough oil for one night. But according to the story it miraculously lasted for eight," Wing said.
That is the reason behind the lighting of the menorah candles each night of Hanukah.
“We say two blessings. One blessing thanks God for the commandment to light candles and the other thanks God for miracles of old," Wing said.
If you look at a menorah you'll notice there is always an extra candle. That is the servant candle which is used to light the other candles.
"There are a couple of foods that are eaten that are fried in oil to commemorate the miracle. One of them is potato pancakes or latkes and the other is jelly donuts called Sufganityot. We also play a game with a spinning top called a dreidel,” Wing said.
On Friday Temple Beth- El will light the menorah during its Shabbat services. The temple will also have string players from Guilford High School and will serve latkes.