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Viewfinder: Miss-Lou celebrates Hanukkah

Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Allyn DeVries lights the menorah for Hanukkah at Temple B'nai Israel Saturday evening. Members of the temple and community joined together to enjoy a meal and celebrate Hanukkah.
Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Allyn DeVries lights the menorah for Hanukkah at Temple B’nai Israel Saturday evening. Members of the temple and community joined together to enjoy a meal and celebrate Hanukkah.

NATCHEZ — As Beau Baumgardner cleared his throat Saturday, the 36 members of Temple B’nai Israel and the Natchez community took their seats around a blue and silver decorated table.

“Tonight we celebrate together Hanukkah,” Baumgardner said. “We remember not just the recapturing of the temple and the lasting oil but the freedom we have to practice whatever faith we have in our hearts.”

Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Beau Baumgardner blesses the bread and meal for Hanukkah dinner at Temple B'nai Israel Saturday evening. Members of the temple and community joined together to enjoy a meal and celebrate Hanukkah.
Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Beau Baumgardner blesses the bread and meal for Hanukkah dinner at Temple B’nai Israel Saturday evening. Members of the temple and community joined together to enjoy a meal and celebrate Hanukkah.

The eight-day celebration of Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabees triumph over the Greeks and the oil that lasted eight days when it was expected to only last for one.

“Hanukkah isn’t just about recapturing the temple, but the faith and trust that the oil would last,” Elise Rushing said.

After Baumgardner read about the history and miracle of Hanukkah, Allyn DeVries lit the blue and silver candles on the centerpiece menorah.

“I’m now going to invite a few people to light the chanukkiyah, the smaller menorahs on the table,” Baumgardner said, as five people stood and lit smaller blue and silver candles around the dinner table.

“I’m glad they’re keeping traditions,” Kathleen Mackey King said. “And that they’re opening their doors to share their traditions with the community.”

Thursday at sundown marks the end the eight days the temple oil lasted and the final day of Hanukkah.

“Though tonight is not the last night of Hanukkah,” Baumgardner said Saturday as DeVries lit all eight candles, “we will light every candle since we can’t get celebrate the last night together.”