This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8, and ends a week later on Sunday, Dec. 16.
According to Chabad.org, Hanukkah starts on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. For those of us who aren't attuned to the Jewish calendar, that translates to sundown on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Here's a look at some of the events happening near Sewickley:
- The Beth Samuel Synagogue in Ambridge will have family services from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 and Shabbat morning service from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 8. Also Chanukah Shabbat services, an evening of singing, dreidels and fun, are planned from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 and morning service from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 15.
- Beth Samuel will have its annual Chanukah Party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. There will be a latke luncheon, children’s crafts and a silent auction. “Mazel! Mazel!”, a Pittsburgh klezmer quartet, will be performing. Cost is $10 and children 12 and under are free. Call 724-266-5328 for more information or by Dec. 12 for reservations.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the story of the Maccabean Revolt against Syrian rulers in present day Israel 2,300 years ago. The Maccabees wanted to rededicate Jerusalem's main temple but had only enough oil to kindle the Eternal Light for one day. The oil lasted for eight days, according to the story, and the holiday of Hanukkah was born.
Today, Jews generally celebrate by gathering together with family, lighting one candle on the menorah each of the eight nights, playing dreidel and eating special holiday foods such as potato latkes and babka.
If you are looking for Hanukkah foods, Giant Eagle features a Hanukkah section on its website; click here to see it. Whole Foods' website also gives customers a "Hanukkah Dishes Worth Sharing" and "Stock up on These Hanukkah Essentials", which you can access by clicking here.
TELL US: If you observe Hanukkah, what are your plans?