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Eight Day Celebration of Hanukkah Begins

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RALEIGH — The remembrance of a miracle is underway.The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah began at sundown Tuesday.The 8-day holiday centers around the familyand celebrates religious freedom.

The Perlman family of Raleigh, along with Jews around the world, arecelebrating a tradition of culture and freedom that Jewish families havehonored for more than 2,000 years.

Beth Perlman prepares traditional potato pancakes, or latkes for herfamily. It's one of the favorites foods for the 8-day observance in thehome.

"For Jews, our religion isn't only in the synagogueand public places, but in the home as well. And a lot of the rituals that wedo are in the home - we light the menorah in the home,we eat certain foodsin the home."Hanukkah commemorates the victory over Greek and Syrian attacks. The Jewsdefeated their oppressors and rebuilt their temple. Rabbi JonathanPerlman explains today's menorah symbolizes the 8 days of light thebuilders got from one days worth of oil during the reconstruction.

"Every night another candle is added to this candelabra,called the menorah, and they celebrate in the same old songs and celebratethe anniversary of this political and religious victory."The observance is taking on new traditions as Jewish culture is changingin America. But Rabbi Perlman says the heart of the celebrationis the same... the defeat of religious oppression.

"After that they they were permitted to worship in the waythey had worshipped previously. They had complete control of the templeand it was an exciting time to be a Jew."Hanukkah continues through next Tuesday evening.

You may have seen "Hanukkah" spelled different ways. There are 16 correctways to spell it!