12 Touching Photos That Show How Service Members Celebrate Hanukkah

By J.G. Noll

Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after driving the Greeks from the city. It consists of eight days of celebrations, to imitate the miracle at the dedication where the Jewish people had only enough oil for one night, yet it burned for eight.

All over the world, Jewish service members and their families will begin celebrating, and these photos offer a glimpse into traditions at home and abroad, on bases and boats, with family and alone.

1. A rabbi with the 32nd Air Expeditionary Wing Chapel lights celebrates the 8th day of Hanukkah in Iraq. 

Photo: DVIDS

2. An Air Force Reserve family participates in a community celebration at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Photo: DVIDS, Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen

3. A variety of menorahs light the darkness for the Jewish members of Joint Task Force Guantanamo and Naval Station.

Photo: DVIDS

4. A shamash is lit and will be used to light the other candles on the menorah.

Photo: DVIDS

5. Service members share in the tradition of fried foods, including doughnuts, during Hanukkah celebrations.

Photo: DVIDS

6. Members of the military find time to take part in centuries old traditions.

Photo: DVIDS

7. A chaplain presides over a Hanukkah celebration in Afghanistan.

Photo: DVIDS

8. The menorah is lit on a missile destroyer in the Arabian Gulf.

Photo: DVIDS, Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bryan Jackson

9. Military families practice Jewish traditions at an inter-faith get together in Aviano, Italy.

Photo: DVIDS, Airman 1st Class Cary Smith

10. Sailors on the USS George Washington take time on the first day of Hanukkah.

Photo: DVIDS, Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Nelson

11. A menorah is lit in Liberia.

Photo: DVIDS, Sgt. Matt Britton

12. Service members in Africa participate in a teleconferenced Hannukkah service.

Photo: DVIDS,  Spc. Caitlyn Byrne