CHABAD of Northern Virginia helped Loudoun County community members celebrate Hanukkah on Dec. 26, gathering at Leesburg’s Rust Library to light a menorah.
CHABAD is the largest Orthodox Hasidic Jewish movement in the world, and the name is an acronym for the Hebrew words chochmah, binah and da’at, which translste to wisdom, understanding and knowledge. This was the first time the organization has hosted a lighting in Leesburg.
“It’s a holiday that for many years has been viewed as a Jewish Christmas. It’s really more than that,” said Ken Reid, a Leesburg Town Councilmember who attended the event. Along with the menorah lighting, celebrants enjoyed latkes and traditional Jewish doughnuts.
Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Jewish temple in the year 165 B.C. during the Maccabean Revolt. The successful revolt would usher in more than 100 years of Jewish control over part of what is now modern-day Israel. It was the last time Jews controlled that area until the founding of the modern Israel in 1948.
This year, Hanukkah began on the evening of Dec. 24 and runs until the evening of Jan. 1. It is estimated that there are about 13 million Jewish people worldwide, including more than 100,000 in Virginia.