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Guiding lights

Hanukkah’s history traced at stamp event

Man gestures at podium decorated with Hanukkah stamp image
Judge Gary Shapiro, the Postal Service’s judicial officer, speaks at the Oct. 16 Hanukkah stamp dedication ceremony in Newport, RI.

Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday that is more than 2,000 years old, was honored Oct. 16 at the dedication of the Postal Service’s newest holiday stamp.

USPS and Israel Post jointly issued the stamp, which features artwork created using the techniques of papercutting, a traditional Jewish folk art.

Judge Gary Shapiro, the Postal Service’s judicial officer, traced the history of Hanukkah during the ceremony, which was held at the 225-year-old Touro Synagogue, the nation’s oldest synagogue, in Newport, RI.

The holiday celebrates the rededication of a Jerusalem temple during the second century B.C. after the building had been reconquered from armies that desecrated the sanctuary. According to tradition, during the rededication, the sacramental oil needed to light the lamps burned for eight days, even though there only was enough oil for one day.

“The holiday reminds us to keep the flame of our religion and culture burning to be passed along to the next generation,” Shapiro said.

Other speakers included Israel Post Philatelic Service Director Elhanan Shapira; Touro Synagogue Foundation Chair B. Schlessinger Ross; and USPS Connecticut Valley District Manager David D. Mastroianni Jr., who served as the master of ceremonies.

The Hanukkah stamp is available at Post Offices and

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