Isle Jews prepare to observe Hanukkah
Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, will begin Tuesday with candle-lighting ceremonies at public events and in private homes.
Jewish organizations and families light candles on a menorah over an eight-day holiday to mark an historical event more than 2,100 years ago.
» Shaloha Hillel, the Jewish campus ministry at University of Hawaii, will get a head start on the holiday with a "Chanukapalooza" party tomorrow at the Campus Center. The party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. is free, with music, Israeli folk dancing, children's games and storytelling. The group's menorah is electric in defense against windy, rainy weather, which put the lamps out in the past.
» Chabad of Hawaii will sponsor its annual public menorah-lighting event Tuesday at Waikiki Gateway Park at the intersection of Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues. The 7 p.m. ceremony will be preceded by a parade of menorah-bearing cars and followed by a free party. For information, call 735-8161.
» Temple Emanu-El will hold its Hanukkah dinner at 6 p.m. Friday preceding the 7:30 p.m. Shabbat service. People are asked to bring a batch of latkes, the crispy potato pancakes that are the traditional festival food, to the community dinner. They are also asked to bring gift cards from supermarkets and other stores, to be given to homeless families in the Family Promise shelter program. The dinner cost is $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers. Call 595-7521 for reservations.
» The Chabad Hanukkah party will be at 4 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Ala Moana Hotel, 410 Atkinson Drive. Tickets are $20 for adults, $12 for children. Call for reservations.
The menorah-lighting ritual commemorates a miraculous event in Judea in 165 B.C. Jewish fighters led by Judah Maccabee reclaimed their temple from conquerors who had defiled it. Seeking to rekindle the menorah, they found only a small flask of consecrated lamp oil that remained untainted. Although it was only enough fuel for one day, the flame lasted for all eight days of the dedication of the temple.
The holiday is celebrated as a triumph of freedom from religious intolerance and oppression.