St John Street’s Launceston Synagogue hosted its sixth annual menorah lighting on Monday night as Launceston’s Jewish community gathered to celebrate the third night of Chanukah.
About 80 people attended the lighting ceremony, which celebrates a miracle dating back 2300 years, when a small band of Jews managed to overcome the mighty Greek army and reclaim the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
Upon reclaiming the temple, the group lit the temple’s menorah, which burned for eight days despite having only one day’s supply of oil.
The more light we add, the more darkness we overcome.- Rabbi Yochanan Gordon
Rabbi Yochanan Gordon said the lighting ceremony marked the victory of light over darkness.
“It's customary to light a candle at the first night which started on the 24th and we add a candle each night until we get to the eighth night,” Rabbi Gordon said.
“The idea of adding a candle is that the more light we add, the more darkness we overcome; that's the idea of Chanukah.”
Donuts were distributed after the ceremony, which was also celebrated with dreidel games and a raffle.
“The miracle happened with oil so it's customary to have oily foods; the North African custom was to have donuts, the European custom was to have a lutke which is a potato patty.”
Rabbi Gordon said Chanukah festivities would continue throughout the week in Launceston, Devonport and Hobart.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.