A community menorah lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 at the Temecula Duck Pond, located at 28250 Ynez Road, it was announced.
A special eight-branched menorah is used to celebrate the miracle of Chanukah. One additional candle is lit each night, until on the eighth night, all eight candles are lit.
Chanukah is often called the Festival of Lights.
Chanukah celebrates the victory in 165 BCE of the Macabees, a group dedicated to fighting for the religious freedom of the Jewish people in Israel, against the Greek-Assyrians, who had forbidden the open practice of Judaism.
After the victory, the Jews went to rededicate the Temple in Jerusalem, but found only enough sacred oil to burn for one day. However, a miracle occurred and the oil lasted for eight days, until additional oil could be produced.
One custom of Chanukah is to spin a four-sided top-like toy called a dreidel. On its sides are the Hebrew letters Nun, Gimel, Hei and Shin, which stand for (in Hebrew) the saying “a great miracle happened there”. Nun also stands for the Yiddish word nisht (“nothing”), Hei for halb (“half”), Gimel for gants (“all”), and Shin for shtel ayn (“put in”), so playing with dreidels becomes a game of chance.
There will be entertainment and dreidels for the children and refreshments for all.
To learn more, contact Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz of Chabad Jewish Center of Temecula at 951-813-1401 or visit www.jewishtemecula.com.