Chanukah (alternately spelled Hanukkah), meaning "dedication" in Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Macabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and "re-dedication" of the Temple in Jerusalem. The modern home celebration of Chanukah centers around the lighting of the chanukiah, a special menorah for Chanukah; unique foods, latkes and jelly doughnuts; and special songs and games.
CHANUKAH AT CONGREGATION EMETH
Families share a potluck dinner in our synagogue social hall on the Friday night during Chanukah. Afterward, everyone brings their chanukiya to the front of the sanctuary and lights the candles before an Erev Shabbat (Friday evening) service.
Congregation Emeth also leads a community celebration of Chanukah in downtown Morgan Hill. Rabbi Israel leads the candle lighting ceremony and Emeth’s Religious School students, led by a cantorial soloist, sing for the community.
Rabbi Debbie Israel tells a Chanukah story during the Chanukah candle lighting ceremony at Congregation Emeth as they celebrate the fourth night of Chanukah.
(Photo by Lora Schraft, Gilroy Dispatch.)