Friday, December 11, 2009

1st Candle - Chanukah here, there, and everywhere (but especially there!)

The 8 blogs of Chanukah.  Each night a new blog from the community of Congregation B'nai Israel.

Tonight, the first blog of Chanukah is brought to you by Keren Shemesh and Dvir Dor, our Israeli emissaries.  Keren and D'vir have brought amazing energy and innovation to our community this year.  Don't miss the Community Candlelighting and Chanukah Party that they are leading at the JCCS on Wednesday, 6th night of Chanukah, with a candle dedication to Gilad Shalit.

Kol echad hu or Katan, VeKulanu or Eitan.
כל אחד הוא אור קטן, וכולנו אור איתן
“Each of us is a small light; And together, we are strong and bright”.

This is a phrase form a Hebrew song about Hanukkah, and the best way that we have found to verbally describe the holiday spirit as it is celebrated in Israel.

In our home, Israel, most of the people that surround you are Jewish. Therefore, the holiday spirit is felt all over. Everywhere you go, you’ll experience the holiday. Students have celebrations in school, Youth Movements create beautiful decorations and community ceremonies, the TV shows change their themes into Hanukkah themes. Take a look at the Sesame Street video at the bottom of this post, and you’ll see what we are talking about!

It is very similar to the Christmas atmosphere that one can sometimes feel here. The trees that you see here all over turn themselves into Menorahs in Israel, jingle bells to dreidels, gingerbread to Sufganiyot (Our special version of Donuts), decorated gift shops into… decorated gift shops.

Since there are eight candle lightings, each night you get to see other people you haven’t seen in a long while. From family to friends, to your parent’s friends from the army, to a candle lightening with your youth movements friends…

So what will we miss the most?

We sure will get a great embrace from the Jewish community here. However, there’s no place like home- is there? We will be missing our families, our friends, the huge menorahs in front of our towns, the Festigal (every Israeli kid’s FAVORITE Hanukkah show that gets better every year), even our parents’ friends from the army…

Have a great Hanukkah,
We are thrilled to be here with you and celebrate it your way…
Dvir and Keren,
Israeli Young Emissaries ’09-‘10

Below is an entertaining compilation of Hanukkah on Israeli TV, beginning with the Israeli Sesame Street, Rechov Sumsum.

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