The Wood River Jewish Community is celebrating the eight-day “Festival of Lights” this week with a combined Shabbat Hanukkah service on Friday, Dec. 23 at 6 p.m. at the Community building at 471 Leadville Ave. in Ketchum.

“The holiday of Hanukkah intentionally comes at a dark time of year,” said local Rabbi Cantor Robbi Sherwin. “Faiths that came before Judaism also celebrated the winter solstice, hoping to bring light into a dark world.”

Hanukkah always starts on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, but because the Hebrew calendar is based on a lunar calendar, the standard “English” date changes every year. This year, the eighth candle of Hanukkah will be lit on Dec. 26. The Chanukiyah, or Hanukkah menorah, represents the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

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