A fes­ti­val of giv­ing

CITY CEL­E­BRATES HANUKKAH IN THE PARK

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By KARINA ABADIA

WHAT do you know about Hanukkah?

It’s a big deal in Is­rael and for the first time the eight­day Jewish fes­ti­val is be­ing opened up to the pub­lic in Al­bert Park.

The Jewish com­mu­nity and the Is­raeli Em­bassy are host­ing the free Hanukkah event in the park on Sun­day.

Auck­land He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion and Kadimah School youth leader Yair Jabli­nowitz says the sym­bol­ism of the fes­ti­val is uni­ver­sal.

At its heart is the be­lief that one good deed en­cour­ages another, Mr Jabli­nowitz, 24, says.

The Free­mans Bay res­i­dent is orig­i­nally from Jerusalem but came here a year ago with his wife Shifra.

They are rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Jewish Agency of Is­rael and a world youth move­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion called the Bnei Akiva.

Hanukkah is cel­e­brated each year in De­cem­ber and dates back to the sec­ond cen­tury BC when the Greeks in­vaded Is­rael.

A mir­a­cle is be­lieved to have oc­curred dur­ing the bat­tle to reded­i­cate the Tem­ple of Jerusalem when a small amount of oil, ex­pected to last no more than a day, burned for eight.

Fam­i­lies cel­e­brate the mir­a­cle each night dur­ing the fes­ti­val by gath­er­ing to­gether and light­ing another can­dle on the can­de­labra known as a meno­rah.

The meno­rah used at Hanukkah has nine can­dle hold­ers, one of which is a dif­fer­ent height and is used to light the oth­ers.

The date of Hanukkah is based on the lu­nar cy­cle and this year it started on Novem­ber 27 and will end on De­cem­ber 5.

The point of the hol­i­day and Ju­daism in gen­eral is to try to give to the world, Mr Jabli­nowitz says.

‘‘If you light one can­dle and then another, they give to each other with­out los­ing any­thing.

‘‘So Hanukkah is re­ally all about spread­ing the light to the world and unit­ing as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble.’’

Peo­ple at Al­bert Park on Sun­day can watch as Auck­land’s tallest meno­rah is lit.

The Trupp­mann Brothers will also be per­form­ing tra­di­tional klezmer mu­sic and there will be arts and crafts, sto­ries and other ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren.

Ima Bistro will be there serv­ing up au­then­tic Is­raeli and Mediter­ranean food and peo­ple will be able to sam­ple jelly donuts known as suf­ganiyot.

The donuts start to ap­pear in the shops in Is­rael about six weeks be­fore Hanukkah be­gins and are hugely pop­u­lar.

Chil­dren even try to set new records for the amount they can eat over the eight days.

Photo: KARINA ABADIA

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour news.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to watch a video about Hanukkah An­cient tra­di­tion: Youth leader Yair Jabli­nowitz says dur­ing Hanukkah Jewish peo­ple cel­e­brate by light­ing the can­de­labra known as a meno­rah.

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