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 Ilford News Stories

Yesterday, 18:13
Redbridge Momentum with John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Redbridge Town Hall.

The Jeremy Corbyn roadshow rolled into Ilford last week just as the Labour leadership battle stepped up a gear.

Yesterday, 17:41
Ilford Super cinema circa 1924.

Local historian John Barfoot shares his memories of the “picture palaces” of 1930s Ilford.

Yesterday, 12:00
Aid worker Tauqir Sharif, 29, in Syria.

A father of two and one of the few aid workers inside war-torn Syria lives with his family at the heart of one the world’s most dangerous conflicts helping civilians to survive.

Yesterday, 06:45
Jumping for joy

After the excitement of last week’s A-level results day, it’s time for teenagers across the borough to experience the same nerve-wracking feelings as they collect their GCSE results.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now