While Chanukah is a joyous time of year for many Jewish people, the weeks leading up to this year’s festival of lights were a strenuous time for those in Israel, as well as those with ties to the country.
Violence between Israel and Hamas had escalated before a ceasefire was announced in late November. One local person with ties to Israel is Rabbi Paula Mack Drill, of the Orangetown Jewish Center. Drill’s daughter serves in the Israel Defense Forces as an infantry instructor and is stationed on a base in the south of Israel, near where the concentration of attacks were taking place.
Drill talked to Patch about the history and traditions of Chanukah, as well as celebrating the holiday this season after the ceasefire.