Last Saturday was the final day of Hanukkah, and our Jewish community gathered to celebrate at the Temple! As a Roman Catholic priest, I am not Jewish of course, but I was invited to come along and had a great time (as well as learning a lot – but they will have to forgive me if I am inacurate in my terminology or description of the event…).
It started with some music by a band of members of the congregation, including traditional songs, dancing, and even some rap in Yiddish by David Wesson! Then some children (students of Henry Allen) presented a short play on “The Miracle of Hanukkah”.
Things got more serious with a commemoration of the fire that destroyed the previous temple building. However, the focus was positive. Carole Sharoff and Lou Goldish told how an elaborate and historic hanukiah (given by leaders of the state of Israel to the American embassador in the 1960′s), was saved from the fire by being kept an extra day or two in the Unitarian Universalist church to which it had been lent. Wendy Betts, a very talented performer, then sang a selection from the work “Voices”.
Rabbi Steven Lewis gave a brief and very interesting “D’var Torah” – a commentary on the festival, based on the Torah and commentaries. (I used some of what he said in my homily at Mass the next day, giving due credit to the Rabbi, of course). The ceremonies ended with the lighting of everyone’s hanukiot (a.k.a. menorah) that they had brought from home, starting with the aforementioned historic one. Then we all ate latkes, jelly donuts, and other finger food!
A few photo highlights are included below. For more photos, click on the thumbnails below.
And although Hanukkah is over, here is a great Hanukkah song:
And don’t forget:
Urban Voices: A Choral Music Initiative from the Metropolitan Opera Guild
This program is made possible by a generous gift from the Popplestone Foundation.