Hanuka celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century B.C.E. The celebration lasts for eight nights commemorating multiple miracles which occurred during this time; the most commonly known being that of the oil.
You see when we first regained access the Temple from the Hellenist Syrians who had made it illegal for us to worship, we found only enough oil to light the Temple Menorah for one day. Miraculously, that flame burned true for eight days and nights, giving us enough time press more oil. You can read about Hanuka in the first and second books of Maccabees and surprisingly (for most) in the book of John (10.23 really!). Or you could just come to our Annual 8th Night of Hanuka party and get the gantesh megillah!
Hanuka is awesome in our book! Each year for 8 days we read and talk about the history of Hanuka – both physical and spiritual. Then on the 8th night we open our home to family and friends (of all faiths) for a historical retelling of the events surrounding Hanuka along with games, music, food and fun.
The party is different from year to year because we all have different backgrounds and so many “new” faces join us. We do have a general flow to the evening which we try to follow just as a way to help everyone (new and old) feel welcomed and have a good time. And YES! it’s okay if you tell your friends. In fact send them this link:
Here’s what to expect when you join us:
Retelling (10 – 20 minutes*)
Each year we start the party with the retelling of the events surround Hanuka. We use a printed booklet because honestly we’d be sure to leave something out otherwise. The reading can be pretty rowdy* given the right mix of people interested in reading.
Hanukia Lighting (5 – 10 minutes)
Then we light the Hanukia. We’ve found over the years that many guests, after learning the history of Hanuka want to light a Hanukia. We’ll have several Hanukiot available for those guests to light, but no one “has to” light a Hanukia. You are also welcome to bring your own Hanukia and candles. The whole thing takes between 5 and 15 minutes depending upon how many people are lighting.
After the last candle is lit we sing a song written in the 13th century about God being our Rock & Stronghold titled Maoz Tzur. You can hear the song here. You can see the lyrics here.
Stories & Games (all night)
When we have young children about this time we break out the games or crafts for them to have something fun while we mix and mingle for a bit. Inside of this time, since 2008 we have shared a storybook DVD featuring Bruce Bruce the Hanukkah Moose. A delightful tale of Hanuka for all ages. Bruce’s “theme song” is sure to be stuck in your head for days!
Eats & Drinks (all night)
We’ll have plenty of soufganiyot, latkes, bumelos and other yummy finger foods to eat. Figure with potatoes, donuts and cheese you can’t go wrong! Everything will be either vegan (no animal products) or have dairy products added to. The absolute best cup of coffee you’ve ever had will be on hand all night. We use a cold brew system that gives rich flavor depth without the all the acid & “mean” bite of traditionally brewed coffee. Yes the coffee you drink will be hot. We’ll also have an assortment of hot tea and cold, non alcoholic beverages for your enjoyment.
Some years we may uncork a bottle or two of Kosher wine – but not before 8:30pm. We’ve found that most little ones are well on their way home for bed by then.
All told most years we wrap up around 10:00pm. We would love to see you this year. If you are on Facebook you can visit our Facebook event page to RSVP or use the form below.
[contact-form 2 “Hanuka”]