Hanukkah begins on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 12 next week! Hanukkah is the season of miracles. We celebrate the Maccabees’ victory over the Greek armies led by King Antiochus IV over 2,000 years ago.  These armies overran the Temple in Jerusalem, setting up an altar to Zeus and sacrificing pigs. Because they forced our ancestors to miss the holy festivals that year, including Sukkot, it is no coincidence that Hanukkah lasts the same length of time as our harvest holiday. When our ancestors re-dedicated the holy Temple, they kept the dedication going for eight nights, which of course, was a Hanukkah miracle. Every time I light the menorah on Hanukkah, I am inspired by the enduring spirit of the Jewish people to overcome adversity and oppression, and constantly to rededicate ourselves to Jewish life and values. We celebrate our freedom to practice Judaism and live out our Jewish values b’chol dor vador, in every generation. As we light the Hanukkah candles, we thank God for the miracle of Jewish continuity throughout the ages. We also rekindle hope that we as a society can continue to overcome adversity and injustice today.

Please join us next Friday at 6:00 p.m. for Shabbat Unplugged – Hanukkah! And bring your menorah and candles for our communal menorah-lighting. Toby Pechner will again join us on guitar. You can learn the new melodies of Shabbat Unplugged! here.

Get inspired for Hanukkah with the a capella group Six13: This Hanukkah-themed Hamilton parody is awesome! (So are all their videos).

Here is an at-home Hanukkah service for each of the eight nights!

Wishing you and yours light, joy and peace this Hanukkah,

Rabbi Bair

P.S. To keep the light of Jewish community bright in Reno, please consider making a special year-end contribution to Temple Sinai this Hanukkah.