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.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:34
Len Fisher and pearly queen Doreen Golding rename the first floor

A nursing home fell in love with all things East End as a pearly queen opened one of its renamed units.

Yesterday, 17:56
London Assembly chairman Roger Evans (fifth on the left), Ilford North MP Lee Scott (third from the right), Rev Kate Lovesey (centre) and Aldborough Hatch Defence Association chairman Ron Jeffries (on Rev Lovesey's right) with residents. They are opposing plans for more gravel extraction in Aldborough Hatch. [Picture: Nicholas Smith]

Restoration work at a quarry is set to continue for a further two years after a planning application was approved.

Yesterday, 15:33
Glade Primary School hosting a bake-off, raising money for Whipps Cross Hospital's special care baby unit
James Skelt, age eight. and Lorelle Cumming - Williams, age seven.

A primary school held a baking contest to raise money for Whipps Cross Hospital’s special care baby unit.

Yesterday, 14:45
The road in Thetford, Norfolk, where Ted McDermott was tragically killed last week.

A golf society’s day out ended in tragedy when one of its elderly members was killed after being hit by a van.

Most read news

A new report is highly critical of local organisations across the county.

The Hollywood actor took on politicians and it was amazing.

Climbers are leaving a big mess on the world’s highest peak.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder