REGINA — Children and adults from the Regina Jewish community gathered Dec. 17 at Beth Jacob Synagogue for a community celebration of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. It commemorates the miracle of the menorah remaining lit for eight days in the temple even though there had been only sufficient holy oil for one day.
The miracle occurred during the re-dedication of the temple in Jerusalem following a successful rebellion against Antioch IV in the first century BC. Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which can occur in late November or early December according to the Gregorian calendar. It is celebrated over eight days, and began this year on Dec. 13 and ended Dec. 20.
The celebration included the lighting of menorah candles which many people brought with them. A few children made their own candles from beeswax.
Rabbi Jeremy Parnes led the lighting of the menorahs while those present recited a blessing while they lighted their own small menorahs at their tables. Prior to that a group of children, gathered together and led by Miriam Friedland, sang several traditional songs and invited everyone to join in.
The celebration included several foods, such as Sufganion, which is a hollow doughnut with a filling of fruit compote, similar to a bismarck; and latke, potato pancakes served with sour cream and apple sauce. Other dessert-type dainties were also available at the party that followed after all the candles had been lit.