Campbell River is warming up this winter with the Light of Chanukah touring from Victoria.
The annual public Menorah lighting will be held at the City Hall front steps with Mayor Andy Adams. This festive event tomorrow (Dec. 18) at 3 p.m.is free and open to the public.
“It is wonderful for our community to experience the support being demonstrated by the Provincial Government and the Mayors of our participating municipalities in marking Chanukah this year.” – Rabbi Meir Kaplan, Director, Chabad Vancouver Island
The entire community is invited to join in during the official lighting ceremony of the eight foot tall public Menorah and enjoy Sufganiyot (Israeli jelly donuts), dreidels, chocolate gelt (coins) and the sounds of Chanukah music.
Chanukah is a Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights. Chanukah is a Hebrew word meaning “dedication.” Chanukah celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materiality. It begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, and the holiday is celebrated for eight days.
Since in Jewish tradition the Hebrew calendar date starts at sunset, the first evening of Chanukah starts after the sunset of the 24th of Kislev.
This is usually the evening before the date shown for the first day of Chanukah on the Gregorian calendars that include it. The start of Chanukah usually falls in December but occasionally is in late November.
Chanukah commemorates two main historical events: Firstly, the triumph of Judaism’s spiritual values as embodied in its Torah (symbolized by the Menorah) over Hellenistic civilization, which had attempted to Hellenize the Jews away from practising Judaism’s commandments.
Secondly, the victory of the ancient Jewish Hasmoneans over the Seleucid Empire when Judah Maccabee and his brothers defeated overwhelming forces and rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem by finding enough oil to last eight nights.
The festival is observed in Jewish homes by the kindling of special Chanukah lights on each of the festival’s eight nights. Chanukah customs include eating foods fried in oil – latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (doughnuts); playing the dreidel (spinning top on which is inscribed the Hebrew letters, nun, gimmel, hei and shin, an acronym for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, “a great miracle happened there”); and the giving of Chanukah gelt, gifts of money, to children.