Temple Emanuel in Greensboro celebrates Chanukah with giant menorah and latkes

GREENSBORO, N.C. – A giant menorah was installed at Temple Emanuel in Greensboro on Sunday morning to celebrate Chanukah.

Children from the religious school also made latkes, a traditional potato pancake of the holiday.

Chanukah (rededication in Hebrew) is an eight-day festival of lights celebrating religious freedom.

In a protracted struggle two centuries before the Common Era, Jewish warriors, Maccabees, defeated the Syrian Greeks who defiled the Temple in Jerusalem and sought to prevent Jews from worshipping.

In the rededicated Temple, the Jewish community celebrated for eight days, a tradition lasting centuries to this day when Jews worldwide light a candle on eight successive nights.

"We'll start off tonight by lighting only two candles,” said Associate Rabbi Andy Koren. “One symbolizing the first night of chanukah and the other in the middle is our helper candle and each and every night we'll be adding more light to the world around us."

"The helper candle. That's an important one. It was Mr. Rodgers who said that in times of difficulty we should looke for people who are the helpers right? And so I just want to say to people on the Chanukah, first off Happy Chanukah, but also continue to be among those who are the helpers in our world."