OUR ANNUAL ALL COMMUNITY HANUKKAH PARTY WILL BE HELD ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2016 FROM 10:30 am – 12:30 pm!
SIGN UP SHEET COMING SOON!
As Hanukkah is a winter holiday, at our all-community party, typically held on a Sunday morning at Schweinhaut Senior Center in Silver Spring, we create an atmosphere of warmth through our Humanistic candle blessings, dreidel games, and other fun activities. We celebrate the oil miracle with our annual potato latkes competition.
As Humanistic Jews, we keep in mind that the Hanukkah story originated centuries after the time of the Maccabees and their victory. We tell the story of the Maccabees as a reminder of the Jewish people’s struggles, courage, and fragile triumphs. We look for rational explanations, acknowledge the oil story as mythology, and find some modern applications. The flames of the candles on the hanukkiah or menorah are a link to the past and a tribute to the dignity of Jews everywhere. The lesson for us is: how something that is not enough can be enough when there is great human determination.
A modern example could be the Warsaw ghetto uprising. We look at the history of the time of the Maccabees somewhat differently from other streams of Judaism. We know that our definition of freedom today is not what it was in those long ago days, but the story teaches us lessons about the use and misuse of power, religious liberty, and maintaining both group and individual rights.
Judah Maccabee, like his enemy Antiochus, was a religious fanatic who denied freedom of worship to those who opposed him. But he was also a man of integrity who was willing to declare and fight for what he firmly believed. The Maccabees may have been the first to view the Torah as a living document meant to be reinterpreted as circumstances demanded.
Hanukkah Candle Lighting Dedications