Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
As the year is quickly racing to an end, the only thing standing between us and 2018 is… Mazelpalooza, our largest NowGen event of the year! It takes place on Christmas Eve on Sunday, Dec. 24. Nearly 1,000 Jewish young adults from across the Valley gather to celebrate. Eighteen dollars of every $36 per person ticket is donated to the Federation’s annual campaign to help Jews in need and build vibrant Jewish communities locally and globally.
As we celebrate Hanukkah, here is a little known fact: Hanukkah is not a biblical holiday. It is not canonized in our Jewish liturgy as the Rabbis at the time preferred to focus on the theme of rededicating the Temple, the miracle of the oil and the festival of lights, rather than the bloody defeat of the the Greco-Syrian army by the much smaller underdog Maccabees. Book of Maccabees 1 was written in Hebrew and the Book of Maccabees 2 was written in Greek, however the Catholic and Coptic churches have canonized these books. Fascinating.
So to all of our Jewish Chevre (friends) and our Christian friends as well, I wish everyone a happy and healthy Hanukkah. May the Hanukkah story of rededication, of bringing light into our lives and in knowledge that the underdog can prevail should resonate with all of us. May we never give up standing up for what is right and good, no matter the odds.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Hanukkah.