News24

Hanukkah begins with candle lighting

2012-12-08 23:16

Jerusalem - Jews around the world ushered in the eight-day Hanukkah festival on Saturday evening, lighting the first candles of ceremonial lamps that symbolize triumph over oppression.

In Israel, families gathered after sundown for the lighting, eating traditional snacks of potato pancakes and doughnuts and exchanging gifts.

Local officials lit candles set up in public places, while families displayed the nine-candle lamps, called menorahs, in their windows or in special windproof glass boxes outside.

Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights, commemorates the Jewish uprising in the second century BC against the Greek-Syrian kingdom, which had tried to impose its culture on Jews and adorn the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem with statues of Greek gods.

The holiday lasts eight days because according to tradition, when the Jews rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem, a single vial of oil, enough for one day, burned miraculously for eight.

For many Jewish people, the holiday symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.

Observant Jews light a candle each night to mark the holiday.

Oily foods are eaten to commemorate the oil miracle, hence the ubiquitous fried doughnuts and potato pancakes, known as latkes.

Dedication

In Israel, children play with four-sided spinning tops, or dreidels, decorated with the letters that form the acronym "A great miracle happened here." Outside of Israel, the saying is "A great miracle happened there." Israeli students get time off from school for the holiday, when families gather each night to light the candles, eat and exchange gifts.

Hanukkah - which means dedication - is one of the most popular holidays in Israel, and has a high rate of observance.

In Ohio, the first public candle lighting on Saturday will be by Holocaust survivor Abe Weinrib, who turns 100 next week. Weinrib, who will light the first candle on a 3m public menorah at Easton Town Centre in Columbus, said his biggest triumph was surviving the Holocaust, the Nazi campaign to eliminate Jews in Europe.

Weinrib told The Columbus Dispatch newspaper that he was arrested while working in Polish factories owned by his uncle when he was in his 20s. He spent six years imprisoned in camps, including the notorious Auschwitz.

In New York City, Jews are celebrating the holiday's start with the ceremonial lighting of a 10m tall menorah at the edge of Central Park.

Dignitaries, rabbis and a big crowd are expected on Saturday evening for the ceremony. The steel menorah weighs 2 000kg and stands tall enough that organizers will need an electric utility crane to reach the top. It has real oil lamps, protected from the wind by glass chimneys.

A large menorah is also ready to be lit on the lawn in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The menorah is being put up by the Philadelphia Lubavitch Centre, a group dedicated to Jewish education.

Comments
  • diana.gill.18 - 2012-12-09 20:38

    The same way the article doesnt bear a slightest resemblance of Palestine, but the first idiot who commented couldnt live without throwing a smelly turd towards the disputed area. Why you are surprised to meet violence if you are ALWAYS the first to call for it?

  • avremel.niselow - 2012-12-09 20:50

    Why does the original comment change name every 5 minutes? Are you too scared to take responsibility for it, or are you just schizophrenic as well as anti Semitic and murderous?

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-12-09 21:11

      Do you ever stop to think or feel just a little ashamed when you see Palestinian kids pulled from rubble when Israel's disproportionate responses using f16 fighter jets and naval launched missiles targets innocent people? Do you ever maybe just think that maybe Israel's government is over reacting to Palestinian responses that are feeble but the only tactics of a starving blockaded people who simply are being punished because they voted for Hamas as a last resort because their lives were so meaningless and futile for how many decades now!They have watched their land being stolen their kids deprived of a decent life and education,their houses destroyed with bulldozers because someone in their neighborhood did some thing desperate,driven to it by a bullying uncaring Zionist nation who care only for themselves.The majority of blame for this lies with the US who have condoned and even supplied Israel with whatever it needed to push it's agenda.It's disgusting and vile and a blight upon humanity and all Israeli's need to make choices now while they still can or else the broader world will soon tire and begin to take steps to correct the obvious mistake of ever allowing an Israeli state!You supporters of Israel should be hunted down and forced to pay for your own condoning of this crime against humanity..you make me sick and my stomach churn with the injustice and stupidity of your mentality..how can we not hate you for your actions..God alone knows why you retards exist!

      avremel.niselow - 2012-12-09 21:18

      And the award for changing the subject goes to... Dunkie. Or Duncan or whatever you're calling yourself this second, come back when you're actually going to answer what I said.

      avremel.niselow - 2012-12-09 21:20

      Ps those pictures were either from Syria or of Israeli children killed in terrorist attacks, do yes I do feel sorry for them. You on the other hand clearly desire death and destruction.

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-12-09 21:22

      I feel deep in my soul that the biggest mistake the world ever did was to allow an Israeli state to become a reality!This will surely go down in history as one of the greatest follies of the 20th century!To think you have been allowed to obtain nuclear weapons is a massive mistake cause honestly thinking Israel is the greatest threat to world peace and has the potential to create a catastrophe that could destroy life on this planet for us all.This is why I despise Israel and it's paranoia policies I wish to the depths of my soul that this Israeli state could be dismantled or incorporated in to a greater Palestine where people could co-exist in peace and harmony.I AM SICK TO DEATH TIRED OF MOANING WHINING JEWS WHO BLAME THE WORLD FOR THEIR OWN PREDICAMENT WHEN ANY SANE PERSON CAN SEE THEY HAVE SIMPLY BROUGHT IT UPON THEMSELVES.Get with the program join the human race or perish..cause you are not chooseN or special but simply people on this planet who need to learn to live with other people on this planet!GET IT????

      avremel.niselow - 2012-12-09 21:29

      You never actually answer what anyone says do you? Or is it simply that you can't and so you rant endlessly off the topic. Goodbye there are clearly only 2 separate conversations going on here so further conversation is pointless.

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-12-09 21:31

      Ps those pictures were either from Syria or of Israeli children killed in terrorist attacks, do yes I do feel sorry for them. You on the other hand clearly desire death and destruction. LISTEN YOU PATHETIC LITTLE MAN I DESPISE PEOPLE WHO TWIST THINGS TO HIDE FROM REALITY!I WILL PERSONALLY FIND YOU PICTURES OF ALL THE INNOCENT LITTLE KIDS YOUR BRAVE GOVERNMENT KILLED WITH IT'S F16'S AND SEND TO YOU,THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO ANSWER TO YOUR BLASPHEMY YOUR UTTER DISREGARD CAUSE NO SANE PERSON ALLOWS A GOVERNMENT TO ACT IN SUCH A BARBARIC MANNER!

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-12-09 21:34

      When Israel is dismantled then all those who allowed this to happen will be dispatched to the four corners of the world to spend the rest of their lives in servitude to humanity..or they can commit suicide it will be there choice!

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-11 15:18

      I'm still waiting for the pictures.

  • Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-10 15:43

    And what of the more than 30 Gazan children killed by Israeli snipers for simply venturing too close to the wall at the Gaza border. Children? Shame on you Israel.

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-12-10 16:36

      I second that ... shame on you Israel may your shame burn in your souls and may you days be blighted by your misgivings0..may the good Lord smite you down and lay waste your families and fields so you may know the wrath of the Lord God almighty!

  • pages:
  • 1