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.
The following temples or congregations in Peabody are holding services for the holiday:
- Chabad of Peabody, www.jewishpeabody.com
- Congregation Sons of Israel, www.peabodyshul.org
- Congregation Tifereth Israel, www.ctipeabody.org
- Temple Beth Shalom, www.templebethshalom.org
- Temple Ner Tamid, www.templenertamid.org
And here are some special events in addition to those services over the next week:
- Menorah Workshop at Home Depot (92 Newbury St., Danvers), Dec. 9, 2:30-4 p.m. Free.
- Menorah Lighting and Hanukkah Party at the Northshore Mall, Dec. 12, 4:30-6 p.m. Free.
- Temple Ner Tamid Sisterhood Hanukkah Swap, Dec. 12, 7:45 p.m. Free. Click here for more information.
- Menorah Lighting at City Hall, Dec. 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Click here for more information.
- Hanukkah Celebration at Temple Beth Shalom, Dec. 13, 5:30 p.m. RSVP for reservation by Dec. 7.Click here for more information.
- Rabbi Zuker's 2nd Annual Iron Chef: Latke Competition, Dec. 15, 6 p.m. Click here for more information.
- Congregation Tifereth Israel Traditional Hanukkah Supper and Gift Swap, Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m. $10 per person. RSVP by Dec. 7. Click here for more information.
- Latkes & Vodka Party at Chabad of Peabody, Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m. $10 each. Click here for more information.
- Congregation Sons of Israel Annual Congregational Meeting and Hanukkah Party, Dec. 16, 1-4 p.m.
- Temple Beth Shalom Sisterhood Hanukkah Party, Dec. 19, 6:30 p.m. Click here for more details.
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.
TELL US: If you observe Hanukkah, what are your plans?