Chanukah Celebration sheds light on tradition
December 20, 2011
Chanukah, the eight-day Jewish holiday in December, is also known as the Festival of Light, and commemorates the rededication of the second sacred temple in Jerusalem in the second century.
The holiday starts on the 25th day of the Kislev, which falls on Dec. 21, this year, and is marked each day with a lighting of a candle on the Menorah.
Temple Har Shalom, 3700 Creekside Ct., will celebrate Chanukah with a festival on Thursday, Dec. 22.
The annual event will feature food, drinks, an array of children’s activities and a magic show by Logan’s own Richard Hatch, said Rabbi Joshua Aaronson.
"We hold this event every year and we’ve had great success with it," Aaronson said during an interview with The Park Record. "We’ll be lighting our Menorah, the most important thing, to celebrate the second night of Chanukah, and we’ll have face painting and hair extensions, a roving magician and other fun activities."
The temple will also offer latkes, which are potato pancakes, and other foods during the celebration.
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"We’ve partnered with Whole Foods and they have been very generous to make this all possible," Aaronson said." In addition, High West Distillery will be with us making some Chanukah-tinis. The night is an incredible fun evening for everyone to hang out and enjoy each other."
The highlight will be the lighting of the Menorah, which is a ceremony, but also serves as an educational segment of the evening.
"There are some different components to what the lighting symbolizes," Aaronson explained.
One is to commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek Seleucid Empire in 165 B.C.E.
The uprising began when one of King Antiochus IV’s representatives asked Mattathias, high priest and father of Judah, to offer a sacrifice to the multiple Greek gods, according to the Book of the Maccabees, which documents the Jewish rebellion against the Seleucid dynasty.
Mattathias refused and slew the representative, which is considered the beginning of the revolt, said Aaronson.
"We light the Menorah to remember that event and remember what is known as the ‘Miracle of the Oil,’ in which the Maccabees found a little flask of oil to burn that they thought would only last a day, but it ultimately lasted for eight nights," he said. "So we celebrate that wonderful miracle by lighting the menorah for eight nights."
The Temple Har Shalom’s Chanukah Celebration will be held Thursday, Dec. 22, from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. The event is sold out. For more information about the Temple Har Shalom Chanukah Celebration, visit http://www.templeharshalom.com . To learn more about volunteering, call Miriam Eatchel at (801) 856-9555 or Darcy Amiel at (818) 903-2592.