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November 26, 2013 > Hanukkah candles light the night

Hanukkah candles light the night

When the sun goes down on Wednesday, November 27 the celebration of Hanukkah begins for those of the Jewish faith. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is observed over eight days with special food, games, the gathering together of family and friends, and the lighting of the menorah each evening. The holiday is a reminder of a miracle and religious triumph dating back to 168 B.C. when the Jewish faith was outlawed by the Syrian-Greeks who ruled over the Holy Land.

Angered by seizure of their temple and orders to worship Greek gods, the Jews, led by Judah Maccabee, revolted against the Greek army. The small group proved victorious over their powerful oppressors, and reclaimed their land and the Temple. To purify their defiled Temple, the Maccabees wanted to light the menorah, a multi-branched candelabrum, but found that only a one-day supply of oil remained. Eight days were needed to prepare new oil, but they lit the menorah anyway. The single supply lasted a miraculous eight days until the new oil was ready. The word Hanukkah means "dedication" and refers to this re-dedication of the Temple.

The miracle of the oil is honored in traditional foods of the holiday, as several of them are fried in oil. Latkes (potato pancakes) and fried sufgoniyot (jelly doughnuts) are among the delicious treats that will be created. Another fixture of Hanukkah is a game using a dreidel, a four-sided top inscribed with Hebrew letters, an acronym for ÒA great miracle happened there.Ó After the dreidel is spun, whichever letter turns up determines whether the player wins half of what has been placed in a pool of bets, all of it, nothing, or must add to it.

The last candle of Hanukkah will be lit on Thursday, December 5, but the lights will burn on long after in the hearts of the Jewish people in recognition of the triumph of faith and freedom.


Wednesday, Nov 27 Ð Thursday, Dec 5
Outdoor Lighting of Rooftop Menorah
6 p.m.

Friday, Nov 29
Hanukkah Family Friendly Celebration
5 p.m. potluck
6:45 ChildrenÕs Shabbat and family-friendly service

Saturday, Nov 30
Hanukkah Party
5:30 p.m.

Temple Beth Sholom
642 Dolores Ave., San Leandro
(510) 357-8505
www.tbssanleandro.org

Friday, Nov 29
Shabbat Service
8 p.m. Ð 9:30 p.m.
Temple Beth Torah
42000 Paseo Padre Pkwy., Fremont
(510) 656-7141
www.bethtorah-fremont.org


Sunday, Dec 1
Hanukkah Potluck and Menorah Lighting
5 p.m. Ð 7 p.m.
Congregation Shir Ami
4529 Malabar Ave., Castro Valley
(510) 537-1787
www.congshirami.org


Tuesday, Dec 3
Chanukah Lighting
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Pacific Commons Shopping Center
(Outside DSW & Party City)
43732 Christy St, Fremont
www.chabadfremont.com/chanukah









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