HILLSIDE DISTRICT -- Four-year-old Sarah Rolat enjoyed the lighting of
the menorah and the treats, but for her the best part of Hanukkah is the
Getting a jump on the official start of Hanukkah -- which began at
sundown Friday -- Sarah and her classmates at Burbank Temple Emanu El
preschool began their celebration Friday morning. The children sang
songs, made paper crowns and ate traditional holiday foods such as
latkes, or potato pancakes, and jelly doughnuts.
The celebration included the lighting of the Hanukkiah, a special
menorah, and a magic show. Perhaps the highlight of the celebration was
when the children sang and hopped around with Rabbi Paula Reimers.
“The reason why Hanukkah is so popular is because it’s closest to
Christmas out of all our other holidays. And for Jewish kids it’s a form
of Christmas where they get to open presents,” said Reimers.
Religiously speaking, Hanukkah is not as significant as other Jewish
holidays such as Passover and Yom Kippur, Reimers said.
Hanukkah, meaning the Feast of Dedication, is also known as the Jewish
Festival of Lights. The holiday began in 165 B.C., said Reimers, when the
Jews defeated the Syrian tyrant Antiochus.
Reimers said Antiochus took control over the Jewish temple in Israel
and put up pagan altars to force Jews to worship his gods. Mattathias, a
priest, and his five sons slew the Syrians soldiers and fled into nearby
hills to wage war against the Syrian army. The Maccabees as they were
known began a guerrilla war against Antiochus, ultimately defeating the
Hanukkah is the rededication of the Jewish temple of Israel. Legend
states that there was only enough oil for one night in the temple, but
miraculously the lamp lasted eight nights, said Reimers. She said that
Jewish people light one candle of the menorah each night to symbolize the
successful fight for religious freedom.
“The focus of Hanukkah is the spiritual meaning of the story -- of not
giving up even at the darkest of time, Reimers said. “No matter how dark
the world gets, people doing good deeds will light up the whole world.”
For Beth Rosen, a 40-year-old Burbank resident, Hanukkah is a time to
be with family. On Friday, Rosen she joined her 4-year-old daughter
Jackie at Temple Emanu El.
“It’s really fun to get families together and to reward themselves
with the company of loved ones,” she said.
All are invited as Chabad of Burbank hosts a public menorah kindling
ceremony at 3 p.m. at the Glendale Galleria (in front of Macy’s and FAO
Schwarz) For more information, call Chabad at 954-0070.
Evergreen Retirement Home invites the public to a menorah lighting
celebration at 1:30 p.m. at 225 Evergreen St. For more information, call
Burbank Gardens Retirement Home invites the public to a menorah
lighting ceremony and celebration at 2:30 p.m. at 2721 Willow St.
Temple Emanu El of Burbank is hosting a Hanukkah dinner at the
synagogue, 1302 N. Glenoaks Blvd., at 6 p.m. Adults are $15 and children
under 12 are $7. For information, call 845-1734.
The public is invited to Temple Beth Emet of Burbank for a lighting of
the giant menorah at 7:30 p.m. The temple is at 600 N. Buena Vista St.
For information, call 843-4787.