This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8, and ends a week later on Sunday, Dec. 16.
According to Chabad.org, Hanukkah starts on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. For those of us who aren't attuned to the Jewish calendar, that translates to sundown on Saturday, Dec. 8.
In Winchester, Temple Shir Tikvah is holding its usual schedule of services and special Hanukkah events, including:
- Bringing Jewish Holidays to Life on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m., at the Ambrose School: Rabbi Lev Baesh will uncover and explore meaningful and relevant ways to bring Jewish holidays to life for your family. With rabbinic teachings, biblical stories and our imagination and group conversation, you will find ways to connect and celebrate these holidays in ways that are just right for your family and in line with Jewish history and tradition. Free of charge.
- Family Chanukah Celebration on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m., at the temple.
- 3rd Grade Pot Luck, Service and Chanukah Candlelighting on Friday, Dec. 14, at 5:45 p.m., at the temple.
- Shabbat Service with Chanukah Candlelighting with Rabbi Rim and Beth on Friday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the temple.
For more information on Temple Shir Tikvah events, see the temple’s calendar.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the story of the Maccabean Revolt against Syrian rulers in present day Israel 2,300 years ago. The Maccabees wanted to rededicate Jerusalem's main temple but had only enough oil to kindle the Eternal Light for one day. The oil lasted for eight days, according to the story, and the holiday of Hanukkah was born.
Today, Jews generally celebrate by gathering together with family, lighting one candle on the menorah each of the eight nights, playing dreidel and eating special holiday foods such as potato latkes and babka.
TELL US: If you observe Hanukkah, what are your plans?