Last updateFri, 20 Nov 2015 4pm

Lake Chapala Jewish Congregation to celebrate Chanukah

The eight-day celebration of Chanukah begins the evening of Sunday, December 6.  As the days grow shorter, this is a feast of light, food and friends.  Each day of the celebration, many parents give gifts to their children and entertain friends and family.  Fried foods, especially potato pancakes and doughnuts, are served. 

There are several explanations about why Jews honor this holiday. Most center around a second century BC legend when Jews rose up against their Greek oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.  Led by Judah Maccabee (the Hammer), the Jews successfully drove the Greeks out of Jerusalem, relying largely on guerrilla warfare tactics. After the battle, the Jews discovered that there was only enough oil to keep the temple lamp burning for one night. Yet, the one day’s allotment of oil kept the lamp burning steadily until the new supplies arrived eight days later.  


The Chanukah celebration also revolves around lighting a nine branched menorah, known in Hebrew as a hanukiah. On each of the holiday’s eight nights, another candle is added to the menorah after sundown; the ninth candle, called the shamash (helper), is used to light the others.  Jews typically recite blessings during this ritual and display the menorah prominently in a window as a reminder to others of the miracle that inspired the holiday.

This year, Chanukah will be celebrated for the community at-large at the Lake Chapala Jewish Congregation on Sunday, December 6, 3 p.m.  There will be traditional food, games and fun.  Non-members are especially welcome. The cost is 100 pesos per person and reservations are most appreciated.  Those wishing to attend can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call Barbara at (376) 766-3540 by December 3.  The congregation is located in Riberas del Pilar at Sta Margarita 113, a half-block north of the Carretera.

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