Spiritual Outlook for 7 December 2014

From Spiritual Outlook, 2:05 am on 7 December 2014

Hannukah dances in Civic Square
Hannukah dances in Civic Square - Photo: Michael Clements.

Yitzchak Mizrahi is the Wellington Jewish community Rabbi. He talks with Mike Gourley about the Jewish festival of Light and dedication, or Hannukah. A less important Jewish festival than others, but better known because of its proximity to Christmas. This year Hannukah begins on 16th December and ends in the evening of Wednesday, 24 December 2014.

As part of Wellington’s commitment to cultural diversity, in December last year, Wellington’s Civic Square hosted a celebration of Hannukah, with dignatories, including the Israeli Ambassador and Mayor, Celia Wade Brown lighting the Minora.

Lighting Hannukah candles
The Israeli Ambassador (left) and Mayor of Wellington (right) light Hannukah candles. Photos: Michael Clements.

Hannukah signifies the reclaiming the Jewish Temple, by an armed family defying the mighty Greek empire and holding out for a week against the odds, involving a cleansing of the Temple and the miraculous provision of olive oil to light the last candle. This heralded the beginning of the 2nd Temple era, about the year 165 Before the Common Era [BCE].

Music at the civic celebration was provided by Klezmer band, The Gypsy Biscuits, who played on for a bout of Israeli dancing.