This years Maui Chanukah Festival of the Lights 2012 took place December 12, 2012 featuring friends and family members of The Jewish Congregation of Maui was led by Rabbi David Glickman at Beit Shalom Synagogue located in Kihei, Maui, Hawaii.
Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Chanukah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Chanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical Menorah consists of eight branches with an additional raised branch. The extra light is called a shamash (Hebrew: שמש, “attendant”)and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The purpose of the shamash is to have a light available for use, as using the Chanukah lights themselves is forbidden.