Hanukkah celebrations begin in Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Starting Sunday night, members of the Jewish community are celebrating Hanukkah. Like many holidays, each family has their own traditions and celebrates a little different.

During the eight days of Hanukkah, Rabbi Moshe Cohen and his family light their Menorah

"The first night we light one candle, the second night we light two candles, and so on," said Cohen.

Hanukkah comes with many important lessons, but there’s one to be learned from the light.

"If you have a candle, and you want to light another candle, however many candles you light, your candle stays the same brightness or if anything, it becomes even brighter, so you can give and give, and be an inspiration to people around you," he said. "And you'll never lose out."

It's a reminder that there’s always more to do and give.

“Today’s good deeds or today's achievements aren’t enough for us to feel accomplished tomorrow. Tomorrow we have to add new light, we have to set new goals, and always grow in our kindness, in our goodness, in our good deeds, and sharing the light with others," said Mushka Cohen, Co-Director of Chabad Huntsville.

The festival of Hanukkah celebrates two miracles.

When the Maccabees liberated the Temple from Greek invaders, they found a small amount of olive oil that they could fuel the Menorah with. However, it was only enough for one day. They lit the Menorah anyway, miraculously, the oil burned for eight days.

The second miracle that is celebrated is for the ancient victory of the Maccabees, a small band of Jewish fighters, who overruled the Greek.

Rabbi Moshe Cohen takes time to teach his children the traditions of Hanukkah.

“Telling the kids the story of Hanukkah, telling them what it’s all about, eating traditional foods that are celebrated in Hanukkah, traditionally it’s foods that are made with oil," said Cohen.

They also sing, play Dreidle, and receive 'Gelt' money gifts.

During Hanukkah, there are events going on in the Huntsville area. For a full list of those events, visit the Chabad Huntsville website here.