Hanukkah overlapped with Christmas this year and at North School Park in Arlington Heights, we met a rabbi at the Hanukkah (Chanukah) display of a menorah lit up for the 5th day of Hanukkah. (It’s hard to see but the light immediately to the left of the middle candle, called the shamas, is also lit.)
For those of you not familiar with Hanukkah, it is the Jewish celebration of a miracle that happened long ago when the Maccabees (a prominent Jewish band of rebels) took control of Judea when it was under Syrian rule. They planned to rededicate the Temple in Jerusalem. Under siege, they had oil only to last one day, but by miracle, it lasted eight days. The special Hanukkah menorah has nine candles. The one in the middle, usually elevated, is called the shamas, and is used to light the others, adding one during each night of Hanukkah. The lighting of the candles is a ritual which takes place each evening of Hanukkah at sundown, during which special prayers are said. (Although I am Christian, my husband is Jewish, and we celebrate both holidays.)
The rabbi we met at the park invited us to visit his congregation for a Hanukkah party the Sunday after Christmas, which we didn’t do because we had other plans already. The rabbi went to his car, which had a glowing menorah on top!
Hanukkah is also known as the “Festival of Lights” which fits the topic of Becky’s January Squares challenge, _____light.