Hanukkah, Chanukah, National Menorah, 8th Day Band
Shmuel Marcus (photo) performs with brother Bentzion Marcus. Their "8th Day Band" performed a variety of Hanukkah songs before close to 4,000 in attendance at the 2016 National Hanukkah Menorah lighting ceremony on the Ellipse, just across from the White House in Washington D.C. on the second night of the eight-day Jewish holiday on Sunday December 25, 2016. (The official candle lighting took place this year on the second night in deference to the Jewish Sabbath the day before.)
The Jewish rock group "8th Day" was co-founded by brothers Shmuel and Bentzi Marcus. They have played hundreds of sold out concerts across the globe with stops in Australia, Europe, Israel, Asia, South Africa, Canada, the Caribbean Islands and all over the United States.
Special guest Adam J. Szubin, the Treasury Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, helped light the candles atop the 30 foot high menorah with the aid of a special elevator.
Hanukkah always begins at sunset on the 25th day of the month of Kislev according to the Jewish lunar calendar. This year the Jewish holiday began on Christmas Eve for only the fourth time in the last 100 years.
The National Menorah Lighting dates to 1979 when Jimmy Carter was president. Hanukkah celebrates the Jewish Maccabees' military victory over Greek-Syrian oppression more than 2,000 years ago. A candle is lit each night of the eight-day celebration, commemorating the miracle of one day's supply of oil lasting a full eight days in the lamp following the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. (Photo by Jeff Malet)