From Reveler Debbie Grossman:
“Chanukah (which means dedication) is an eight-day celebration of lights during the darkest part of the year. It originated as a celebration of the victory of the Maccabees, a small group of Jewish rebels, over the Syrian-Greek army in 165 B.C.E. to reclaim the Jewish temple. A common story for why we light candles for Chanukah is that they only had enough consecrated oil for the temple menorah for one day, but it lasted for eight days and nights. We light our chanukkiah (Chanukah menorah), adding a candle each night, using a special candle (the shamas) to light the other candles. Modern celebrations of Chanukah often include singing, playing dreidel for gelt, and eating foods prepared in oil. American Jews often give their children small gifts.”
See below for videos on making your own latkes and chocolate gelt:
Learn to Make Latkes
Reveler Jonathan Mulberg teaches us how to make latkes in preparation for the eight nights of Chanukah.
Making Chocolate Gelt
Elle, a member of our Solstice Revels Children, teaches us how to make chocolate gelt, a Chanukah tradition!
A New Chanukah Song for Revelers
On the second night of Chanukah in 2020, Reveler Lila Guterman and her family shared the song, “There Was a King,” that was new to everyone at the candle-lighting. Revelers were so struck by the song that they wanted to share it.
From Lila: “It’s called Hayo Haya. Here’s a link to an artist singing it in Hebrew, more or less in the style that it’s like in my mind: https://youtu.be/7U3cj-
There was a king, a wicked king, a wicked king
His sword was sharp, his arrows ringing, arrows ringing
Mihu? [Who then?] Antiochus, Antiochus, Antiochus, Antiochus
He came to kill us, burned the torah, burned the torah
Put out the candles in the menorah, in the menorah,
Mihu? Antiochus, Antiochus, Antiochus, Antiochus
Then up rose Judah, he was brave, he was brave
Jerusalem he would save, he would save
Mihu? Judah Maccabee, Judah Maccabee, Judah Maccabee, Judah Maccabee
He lit the candles in the temple, in the menorah
Jews had light, light and torah, light and torah
Matay bar Hanukkah, bar Hanukkah, bar Hanukkah, bar Hanukkah
Activities for Kids
Online Dreidel Game
For more about Chanukah, click here for an article from ReformJudaism.org.