Annual Community Outdoor Chanukah Candle Lighting (Fourth Candle)
Friday, December 15 at 6:15 pm
We welcome the entire community as we light our outdoor 10-foot tall Chanukah menorah! We will continue the evening with an early Shabbat Service, to be followed by a festive Chanukah oneg. Please bring your own Chanukah menorah so that we can fill our hearts and halls with the light and warmth of Chanukah.
In lighting our Chanukiah (the eight-branched menorah for Chanukah) and placing it proudly in our windows for all to see, we celebrate our religious freedom. We recall the courage of those who came before us. We remember the Israelites of the year 168 BC, who, when the Syrians took control of the land, were ordered to give up the Torah, profane the Sabbath and join in the desecration of their Temple.
We remember those Jews who chose to die rather than forsake their faith. At this holiday, we retell the story of the Maccabees. We recall that they were led by Judah, the bravest son, in a three-year battle against the Syrians. In the end, they prevailed - they gained their religious freedom and reclaimed their holiest place. As a symbol of its renewed sanctity, they rededicated the Temple.
Today, our lighting of the Chanukah candles symbolizes their conquest. With each candle we light we renew the sanctity of the holiday for ourselves, we rededicate ourselves to leading a Jewish life, and we express thanks for our religious freedom.
Lighting of the Candles
The Festival of Chanukah begins at sundown on Tuesday, December 12 with the lighting of the first candle. On each successive night we add one more candle to the Menorah. The candles are placed in the Menorah from right to left and are lighted from left to right.
Each new candle is special. Let us acknowledge the uniqueness of Chanukah by dedicating each one to an important theme inherent both in Chanukah and Judaism.
The following words can be used to preface the blessings. Members of your household might add their own hopes and prayers on these themes.
“Tonight as we celebrate the _____ day of Chanukah, we kindle these lights and rededicate ourselves to the concept of...”
• First night —Herut (freedom)
• Second night — Mishpachah (family)
• Third night — Talmud Torah (learning)
• Fourth night — Tikvah (hope)
• Fifth night — Shalom (peace)
• Sixth night — Tzedakah (deeds of righteousness)
• Seventh night — Chevrutah (partnership)