Archive for Saturday, December 1, 2007

Community celebrates start of Hanukkah

December 1, 2007

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As a child, David Berkowitz heard plenty from his friends who celebrated Christmas.

They were jealous that Berkowitz received presents for eight days during Hanukkah, while they only got presents on one day.

Today, though, Hanukkah has a deeper meaning for Berkowitz, who is vice president of the Lawrence Jewish Community Center, 917 Highland Drive.

The holiday, which starts at sundown Tuesday and runs through sundown Dec. 12, celebrates the religious freedom of the Jewish people.

"I think today, as an adult, it does remind me of the fact that Jews over the centuries have been willing to fight and die to preserve their religious beliefs and their religious freedom," Berkowitz says. "And again, it reminds me how fortunate I am to have been born in 1941 in the United States of America where we neither had to fight nor die for these rights, rather than Europe, where I probably would not have survived."

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem in 165 B.C., after the temple had been desecrated by the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes.

Zalman Tiechtel, rabbi at the Chabad Jewish Center, 1203 W. 19th St., says the message of Hanukkah "is one of hope in the face of extreme adversity. It's a message with broad appeal to everyone who believes in religious freedom and that faith and determination can triumph against even the most overwhelming odds."

That broad appeal is a reason the Chabad Jewish Center is organizing a communitywide Hanukkah celebration from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 9 at South Park. The event will include the lighting of a 6-foot-tall menorah, dancing and latkes.

The Chabad Center also is organizing a Hanukkah story hour and olive press workshop for children. That event is at 7 p.m. Thursday and 10:30 a.m. Friday, both at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

Meanwhile, the LJCC has scheduled a family menorah lighting event at 7:30 Friday at the center. It will be followed by a 7:45 p.m. service.

Comments

mick 7 years, 8 months ago

These people who call themselves "Jews" have absolutely nothing to do with Jerusalem 165 B.C. They are not descendants of Biblical Israel or Abraham. They are not even semitic but descend from Turkik Khazars. They follow the satanic anti-Christian Talmud, not Biblical Judaism. Of course they have the right to their religion, but don't be fooled. See Genesis 10:3.

Kathy Getto 7 years, 8 months ago

We are all children of Abraham; the bloody wars between Christian, Muslim, and Jew are obsolete, pointless, and a stain upon our species. For example, if aliens ever visited our planet, their assessment would be, 'What a clever little species, but they cannot overcome their mean streak and their willingness to die for mere symbols.' 'Kill them all before they can spread to other galaxies!'

Bubarubu 7 years, 8 months ago

Two impressively idiotic comments to start the day. One comment says that a religion's texts are satanic, presumably because they don't support another religion. The other comment bases a denouncement of organized religion on what aliens would say if (when?) they landed on earth. Good job folks, strong contributions to public discourse.

chungasrevenge 7 years, 8 months ago

An explicit celebration of the original victory of bloody-minded faith over enlightenment and reason.

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