Search

Ever wondered what Chanukkah’s about? Newbury Park Rabbi explains all

11:04 13 December 2012

There was also entertainment at the Hertfordshire Chanukak retreat

There was also entertainment at the Hertfordshire Chanukak retreat

Archant

Chanukah kicked off on Saturday with many Jews deciding to go on a special weekend retreat to mark the start of the festival.

The celebration – which is also called the Festival of Lights – started on Saturday and lasts for eight days.

The festival commemorated the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabean Revolt in the second century.

Rabbi Nancy Morris, of the South West Essex & Settlement Reform Synagogue, Oaks Lane, Newbury Park, said: “It’s a traditional but not a religious festival. It’s a very happy festive holiday. There were harsh laws on Jews. It’s the victory of the few against the many.”

Members of Mrs Morris’ synagogue went on a weekend retreat in Hertfordshire to mark the start of Chanukah.

They were joined by people from Bet Tikva Synagogue, Perrymans Farm Road, Newbury Park and the Woodford Liberal Synagogue, Marlborough Road, South Woodford.

Mrs Morris said: “It’s not a biblical festival, it happened much later in history, it’s really a commemoration of an historical event.”

Before the revolt the temple had been used for pagan idol worship and so it was cleansed and rededicated after the revolt.

Mrs Morris added: “They only had enough oil for one day but it miraculously lasted for eight days until they could get more. The oil was specially purified which took time to get.”

Jews commemorating Chanukah light a candle on a candelabra called a menorah each day for eight days.

“People display the menorah somewhere to publicise the miracle of Chanukah.

“Children are also supposed to get gifts each day and people eat fried foods as symbolic of the oil, like doughnuts,” added Mrs Morris.

During the weekend retreat people learned about Chanukah, listened to talks, put on entertainment and visited the surrounding countryside. “It’s a weekend for the different communities to celebrate the holiday, bond and do learning sessions,” said Mrs Morris.

Latest News Stories

Picture: Katie Collins/PA

7.20am: Minor delays on the District Line due to an earlier signal failure.

Wohl Ilford Jewish Primary School pupils getting involved in Mitzvah Day 2013.

Mitzvah Day - the worldwide social action event - is just as important as monetary contributions to charities.

Yesterday, 18:55
The power cut is causing delays between Liverpool Street and Shenfield

Trains between Liverpool Street and Shenfield are delayed this evening due to electrical supply problems at Forest Gate.

Yesterday, 15:35
The pharmacy team, trust chief executive Matthew Hopkins, and Lauren’s family - including her son Janson and her mum and dad, Sylvia and Cyril Simmons

A memorial bench in tribute to a pharmacy technician who lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 50 has been unveiled at King George Hospital.

Most read news

These images show the lava’s path from a sky-high vantage point.

Would a prominent calorie label on your booze make you think twice before tanking up?

Looking for a holiday? We know a company that are keen to flog you a trip to the land of Kim Jong-un.

Biffo and Bobo better stay away from the town of Vendargues this Halloween.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition