Dispersed throughout the Christmas City and the outlying communities are several Jewish Synagogues and Fellowships eagerly waiting to celebrate Hanukkah at sundown on December 1st and will last for eight nights of celebration.
This year Hanukkah is early and completely misses any overlap with Christmas
itself, offering a unique opportunity for Jewish and interfaith families to appreciate the individual holidays rather than a blended version thereof.
For many, the looming commercialism and unabashed pageantry of the Christmas season has encroached upon the festivities surrounding Hanukah. The diminished enthusiasm in years past has been to its proximity to Christmas on the calendar. Falling on the 25th day in the month of Kislev, the 9th
month of the Jewish Calendar Year, Hanukkah is a more subdued holiday and is not actually one of the major holidays of the Jewish Tradition.
The Festival of Lights finds its historic grounding in the Maccabean Revolt circa 160 B.C.E. at which time the Jewish Community rose up against the Greek tyrant Antiochus IV to reclaim their religious rights and the desecrated temple. The true celebration of Hanukkah is not for this victory, as Judaism does
not glorify war, but for the remaining jar of oil left untouched by the Greek desecration of the Temple which allowed the celebration of candle lighting for eight nights. Hanukkah, therefore, is traditionally celebrated year after year as symbolically as a triumph over the suffering and the challenges of the past
year. The lighting of candles in the Jewish tradition is sacred and the true triumph of light over darkness is that the rituals commenced even in the midst of oppression and even when hope was seemingly lost.
It is ironic that a holiday characterized by triumph over religious oppression and Hellenistic assimilation would be impinged upon by the more widely commercialized and celebrated Christian holiday. Not this year, though, as the Jewish Calendar triumphs over the Roman calendar to provide Hanukkah a time
of its own when the lights of the menorah will be lit in public places free from the shadow cast by the Christmas Putz, Santa Claus and the Tree Lighting.
Rabbi Yaakov Halperin, founder of Chabad Lubavitch of the Lehigh Valley, has organized several public events in Bethlehem, Allentown and Easton to commemorate Hanukkah and bring it into the public's radar during this holiday.
Many synagogues in the area will be celebrating the "Festival of Lights" with services and fellowship. This year, Hanukkah has a light of its own.
arranged Rabbi Yaakov Halperin of Chabad Lubavitch of the Lehigh Valley
Public Menorah Lighting
Bethlehem City Hall
Wednesday, December 1, 5:30 pm
Chanukah Super Bowl- Bowling, latkes and candlelighting
Sunday, December 5, 3- 5:00 pm
Playdrome Rose Bowl
801 N. 5th St and Sumner Ave.
Adults $10, Children $5
Public Menorah Lighting
Monday, December 6, 5:30 pm
Easton, Outside Crayola Factory
Beit Simcha Messianic Fellowship
5042 Shantz Rd.
(610) 289 – 2011
December 4, 2010
Congregation Brith Shalom
1190 W. Macada Rd.
(610) 866 – 8009
Chanukah December 1 – 9th
Beth El Gibor (Rabbi Mark Shulman, (610) 419- 3020
3910 Tamarind Dr.
(610) 419 – 1464
Chanukah- Feast of Lights
Temple Covenant of Peace
1451 Northampton St
(610) 253 - 2031
Family Service and Potluck
Chanukah Celebration, Games, Basket Raffle and Latkes
1022 N. 21st Street
Community Chanukah Celebration
December 5, 2010
3- 5 PM