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

25 minutes ago
Ilford Lane (Picture: Google Streetview)

Ilford Lane was shut for seven hours after a crash on Sunday which left one man suffering serious injuries.

52 minutes ago
Abridge Road, Chigwell. Picture: Google Street View

Police are appealing for witnesses after a motorcyclist died following a crash on Sunday.

07:01
Petty criminals are targetting the Wildlife Centre in South Park. Park keeper Francesca Cliff, Christine Poole, Elaine and Tony Webb, Sylvia West, and Lorraine and Alan Dawes

A group of volunteers which maintains a park has said it feels targeted by petty criminals after four bird feeders went missing overnight.

Yesterday, 15:00
Lisanne George, 11, Evie Mahoney, 12, Rochelle Pearce, 12, and Erin Walsh, 12, from the Ilford Sea Rangers, pictured after winning the national Cadet Dolphin Challenge. Picture: Ilford Sea Rangers

Talented members of a youth organisation have taken home the top prize in an annual competition.

Most read news

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder