Many local Jews this week are offering family and friends foods cooked in oil.
That’s because they are observing the eight days of Hanukkah, which began at sundown Tuesday and ends on the evening of Dec. 24.
The holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century BCE, when Jews successfully rebelled against their Greek-Syrian oppressors. Jews commemorate the rededication by lighting a candle each night.
And, because a small amount of oil miraculously provided fuel for the temple’s menorah for eight days, it’s traditional to serve foods cooked in oil, such as crispy latkes and deep-fried doughnuts.