23 October 2018   |  Last Updated 19-12-2014 03:40

      Thursday 18, December 2014

      Salford’s Jewish community celebrate the start of Hanukkah


      THIS week the Salford Jewish community gathers in celebration to mark the beginning of Hanukkah.


      The highly observed festival started on the evening of Tuesday 16 December and lasts for eight days to commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple in the 2nd century BCE.


      For the next eight nights Jewish families will gather together in their homes to light up the cold winter nights with their Hanukkah candles.


      One candle will be lit each night and inserted in the Menorah positioned in a window facing a street to publicize The Miracle.


      Jewish students from Salford University came together to mark the special occasion where refreshments were served along with the lighting of the candle to mark the first day of Hanukkah.


      The event that was led by Rabbi Ephraim Gettentag, Jewish Chaplain for University of Salford seemed thrilled to see the eleven people who attended. He explained that the Jewish community gathers for Hanukkah not only as a celebration but because it is a responsibility to continue it to the next generation.


      He said, “We’ve had a miraculous survival. Jewish people are still around today against all the odds. We’ve had so many people against us, there is always something, but they’ve all died down and we’re still here. We teach our children and our students like our parents and our teachers have taught us. And that’s what we are celebrating.”


      Hanukkah is also a time to give and receive gifts, which are often given every evening of the eight nights. Rabbi Gettentag adds, “It’s also family time as well. It’s a small gathering, the children light the memorial, we sing traditional songs and we give presents as well. It’s encouraging children to get involved and applaud them for their studies and their commitment to Judaism.”


      Amongst the members that attended the event was Brian Leigh, Lecturer in Accounting for University of Salford. He said, “This is a celebration where we all get together. We usually light candles after dark but I think today we will be lighting the first candle.”


      The Salford Jewish community isn’t the only group of people expressing their delight in the beginning of the Hanukkah celebration with celebrities across the globe tweeting about it.




      Hanukkah celebration by Slidely Slideshow


      It’s safe to say for the next week Salford streets will be lit up by the Jewish community who will be shining their light for a very joyous occasion.

      By Emily Paterson