15 Dec Leone Lucia
As a child, my mother didn’t teach me anything about the holiiday, its history or the custom of lighting candles each night as part of the celebration.
You see, originally, Donato Manduzio, who brought the Jewish faith here to San Nicandro, did not know about Hanukkah because it is not written in the Torah like the other holidays, such as Passover, Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks), Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles).
In fact, at the time, Manduzio thought he was the only Jew on Earth. Afterwards, however, when he and his group of followers made contact with the Jewish community, they learned many new things about how Judaism is practiced today, including of course about the Hanukkah holiday.
Ever since then, we have celebrated the festival each year. And until today, I go to my mother’s house each night of the 8-day holiday to help her light the Hanukkah candles.