ST. PETERSBURG — Practitioners of Judaism here in the Tampa Bay area and around the world, began observing Hanukkah at sundown Wednesday.
At Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, Jews remember Judah Maccabee, his small band of fighters and their victory over the religious and cultural persecution by Syrian-Greek oppressors, who seized the temple in Jerusalem. It was recaptured in 165 B.C., but when it was time to rededicate the temple, only one cruse of undefiled oil was found to rekindle the eternal light. The oil that was enough for one day miraculously lasted for eight.
For that reason, Hanukkah lasts eight days.