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Hanukah Festival of Lights
Everyone is invited to come and join our special Hanukah celebration and bring some light and healing into the world. We will be sharing songs, stories, lights and Latkes at 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 in the Stanford Hospital Atrium.
Hanukah, called Festival of Light, is one of the best known Jewish holidays. The name, Hanukah, comes from the Hebrew word “to dedicate.” This year Hanukah begins on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 12 and ends eight days later, at sundown, on Wednesday, Dec. 20.
Hanukah celebrates a number of universal themes that are especially meaningful for patients, families and staff at the hospital. These themes include: maintaining hope, persevering against overwhelming odds, recognizing that the impossible can sometimes be possible, experiencing the freedom and comfort of spiritual expression, expressing dedication to that which is most important, and sharing the pleasure of celebrating light with family and friends during the darkest part of the year.
Historically, Hanukah commemorates an event that took place in 163 BCE, in the area around Jerusalem. The ruling government forbade practice of any religions other than their own, including Judaism, and confiscated the Jewish holy temple in Jerusalem. For several years, Jews resisted against overwhelming odds to maintain their religious autonomy. They persevered. After a few years of fighting, they reclaimed and rededicated the temple. As the story is told, when they went to light the temple lamp, they possessed enough purified oil to last just one day, but it burned for eight days. This is why the holiday’s name is derived from the Hebrew word, to dedicate, and why it is celebrated for eight days.
During Hanukah it is customary to light candles each evening and to enjoy games such as spinning a top (called the dreidl), singing songs, and eating foods fried in oil.
Daily Candle Lighting 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12 – Tuesday, Dec. 19 in the Stanford Hospital Atrium.