Facets of Faith for Dec. 8, 2012

By LEILA PITCHFORD-ENGLISH

Advocate news graphics

When Jews begin lighting menorahs Saturday night, The Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel will join them.

This traditional observance of Hanukkah involves a candelabrum with eight branches in a line and a separate branch holding a “helper” candle known as the Shamash.

On the first evening of Hanukkah, one of the candles is lit. On each of the eight nights, an additional candle is lit.

The holiday celebrates the Maccabees’ victory over the Syrians in the second century B.C., after which the vandalized Temple was cleaned. Tradition holds that though there was only enough oil to relight the Temple lamp stand for one day, the oil miraculously lasted eight days.

The word “Hanukkah” means dedication.

Each night of Hanukkah, a member of the Jewish community will light a flame on the hotel’s menorah inside the 123 Baronne St. entrance in downtown New Orleans. After the Dec. 15 lighting, the menorah will be fully lighted until the end of the Festival of Lights at sundown Dec. 16.

Starting at 3 p.m. daily, the hotel restaurant will offer a Hanukkah menu. For information, visit http:// www.therooseveltneworleans.com.

Temple or Hanukkah?

Sources: press release, The
HarperCollins Dictionary of World Religion, The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions, The Jewish Holidays by Michael Strassfeld

Send ideas and comments to Leila Pitchford-English, The Advocate, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0588 or by email to
lenglish@theadvocate.com.