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Happy Hanukkah!

To the School of Medicine Family:

I want to wish the Jewish members of our community a Happy Hanukkah, which began Nov. 28 and runs through the evening of Dec. 6.

The eight-day celebration, often known as the Festival of Lights, is a joyous time celebrated in Jewish families with the lighting of the candles of the menorah, a candelabrum with nine branches, traditional foods, gifts and games.

The celebration commemorates the historical recovery of Jerusalem and rededication of the Second Temple during the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the second century BCE. The lighting of a candle on the menorah each night of the festival symbolizes a miracle in which it is said that a small flask of oil sufficient to light the temple for only a day lasted eight days.

Many families mark the festival with the nightly lighting of a menorah candle, eating traditional foods fried or baked in oil, especially the fried potato pancakes know as latkes, giving small gifts to children of the family, and traditional prayers and songs.

Please join me in wishing the members of our community of the Jewish faith a Happy Hanukkah.

Mark E. Schweitzer, M.D.
Vice President, Health Affairs
Dean, Wayne State University School of Medicine