Lighting the Menorah: A start to Chanukah

By Chad Weber

December 9, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:03 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- It's the festival of lights for one religion. The lighting of the Menorah means the start to the Jewish holidays.

Sunday night, those in central Illinois came together to celebrate the start of Chanukah, which officially began Saturday night.

The Chabad Jewish Center of Peoria held a public Menorah kindling ceremony, lighting a candle for the first two days of the holiday.

"Lighting the Menorah is a symbol of light over darkness, good over evil," said Rabi Eli Langsam. "Just like the time in the story of Chanukah. The Jewish people were fighting over the Greeks, a culture that was bringing darkness to Judaism. So, too, we are happy here to celebrate the holiday of Chanukah to bring that message of light over darkness and good over evil."

The ceremony included guest lighter State Senator Dave Koehler.

The official start to Chanukah was Saturday night and lasts until December 16.

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