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from which all the others are lighted.

Chanoeka (=the Dutch spelling) is a seasonal feast of hope and light celebrated for eight days: this year's season ended Saturday. One candle is lighted successively each evening, to commemorate the miracle of the increase of sacred temple oil. According to the legend, following a vicious war when the Jewish people successfully retook their Temple, only enough oil was available to keep the Temple lamp burning for one day... but it was decided that the burning was important enough to commit that small supply. The next day, they found that the reservoir of oil beneath the lamp was still full. This continued to repeat for another seven days and nights, until a courier could arrive with more. It's also a celebration of hope and a rededication of your life.

A candleabra called a menorah traditionally supports all eight candles and a central one from which all the others are lighted. Dreidels are wooden tops you can spin, lettered with four characters from the Hebrew alphabet; they symbolize the phrase "a great miracle happened there." The Jewish community here has a very tall menorah stylized as a tree, also as a worshipper with arms raised to Heaven. The dreidels in this picture are lighted from inside:






"Revealing the Hidden City" is a photo exhibit accompanying this year's celebration, it travels around and is gone now. It recognizes the hundred-year anniversary of the founding of Tel Aviv in April 1909... which is another post to come. The exhibit is designed by a company in Delft, just down the road from here.

In Chanoeka 2008 a podium was set up and the menorah wore garlands of russet leaves:




And this is Tamar reading from the Chanoeka message last year at the podium:






By last Saturday all the candles of hope had been lighted:








And there is another set of candles here this year, eight feet high, extending across the whole of the City Hall floor. These are multitraditional, from many faiths. Each one is five-sided and has a metal frame, which displays 35 foot-square wooden panels painted by schoolchildren all over the city. There re nine candles in a row, each topped by a tiny electric fan blowing silk colored by a hidden lamp, to simulate a flame; this is the crest of one of them:






For me, the messages of all these flames are that they reflect the one within your heart, independent of all times and seasons. The one you can share over long distances and beyond time.

Blessings Be.

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