A giant menorah made of hundreds of cans of food was the centerpiece of the annual public celebration of Hanukkah on Monday at Summit Mall.
The lighting of the menorah candles symbolize the victory of light over darkness and is the most important tradition of Hanukkah.
Also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah (which began at sundown Saturday) celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek army and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago. It commemorates the miracle of a single portion of oil, used to light the menorah in the temple, lasting for eight days.
During Hanukkah, the Jewish faithful light a candle on the menorah for eight nights. They also recite prayers and sing. The menorah candles represent the Jewish values of freedom, family, study of the Torah, hope, charity, peace, brotherhood and faith.
The local public celebration of Hanukkah began in 1989 at Anshe Sfard (Revere Road Synagogue). The next year, the celebration was moved to Summit Mall. The event is a project of the local synagogue and Chabad of Akron-Canton. It is co-sponsored by the Shaw Jewish Community Center, Beth El, Temple Israel, the Lippman School and Jewish Family Service.