Hanukkah 5778

Anticipate and celebrate Hanukkah with learning, music, activities for children, and the company of friends. Click here to see a video of how to light the Hanukkah candles and to download a sheet with the blessings. 

Each night of Hanukkah we will post a reflection either via email or social media (Facebook and Twitter). When each reflection is posted, it will also be added to this page.

Wednesday | December 6
12:30 pm | Midtown Lunch & Learn | Hanukkah: Who Really Was Victorious?

Tuesday | December 12
Light first Hanukkah candle  ı ı ı ı Í ı ı ı í
Scroll down and click on the PDF for a ready-to-print page with words to the blessings and songs, with transliteration.
7:30 pm | 20s and 30s Hanukkah Happy Hour

Wednesday | December 13
Light second Hanukkah candle  ı ı ı ı Í ı ı í í
6:00 pm | Teen Hanukkah Party

Thursday | December 14
Light third Hanukkah candle  ı ı ı ı Í ı í í í

Friday | December 15
Light fourth Hanukkah candle  ı ı ı ı Í í í í í
Light Hanukkah candles before Shabbat candles (4:11 pm)
5:00 pm | Hanukkah Shabbat Services and Dinner for Families with Young Children
6:15 pm | Kabbalat Shabbat

Saturday | December 16
9:45 am | Shabbat Morning Service with Hallel
Light fifth Hanukkah candle  ı ı ı í Í í í í í
Light Hanukkah Candles after Shabbat has ended (5:11 pm)

Sunday | December 17
11:00 am | Young Family Hanukkah Event
5:00 pm | Youth Hanukkah Party
Light sixth Hanukkah candle  ı ı í í Í í í í í

Monday | December 18
Light seventh Hanukkah candle  ı í í í Í í í í í

Tuesday | December 19
Light eighth Hanukkah candle  í í í í Í í í í í

From Wednesday, December 13 through Tuesday, December 19, weekday shaharit (morning) services will include Hallel and Torah reading for Hanukkah.

On Tuesday through Thursday, December 12-14, and again on Monday and Tuesday, December 18-19, there will be candle lighting in the lobby immediately after evening minyan.

Hanukkah Kavvanot

We will be posting reflections each night of Hanukkah via email and social media (Facebook and Twitter). When each reflection is posted, it will also be added to the full collection on this page.

First Night of Hanukkah
Receiving Blessings, Returning Light

December 12, 2017

Rabbi Neil Zuckerman

On every day of Hanukkah, in addition to lighting the candles at home, we add two rituals to our services in the synagogue:

  • We add a paragraph to the Amidah (part of every service) every time we say it, morning and evening.
    • We read the Torah every morning.

The paragraph added to the Amidah is called Al ha-nissim, “for the miracles.” It summarizes the Hanukkah story like this:

You gave the mighty into the hands of the weak, and the many into the hands of the few, and the defiled into the hands of the pure, and the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and the malicious into the hands of those who engage in Your Torah. And You made a great and holy name for Yourself in Your universe; and to Your nation, Israel, You granted a great salvation and liberation.

In this prayer, we acknowledge the miracles God performed for us in the form of the military victory. There is no mention of the oil that miraculously lasted eight days. God acted on our behalf, and we respond with praise and gratitude.

The Torah reading for Hanukkah comes from the book of Numbers, chapter 7. It recounts the dedication of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, and it lists in detail the gifts brought by the prince of each tribe. It is a repetitive reading, because every tribe brought exactly the same gifts!

Together these rituals suggest a way to approach Hanukkah as it begins tonight and to keep in mind throughout the week. The Al ha-nissim prayer is all about the miracles God performed for us. The Torah reading is all about what we bring to God. As we gather to light the Hanukkah candles, let us reflect on the blessings in our lives and appreciate the sense of wonder and gratitude we feel in response. While we savor that moment, let us also think about the ways we can activate and bring those blessings into the wider world. What are the gifts you can bring the world? When you look into the darkness, how can you be a lamplighter, illuminating the world with blessing and light?

On each of the days of Hanukkah, we will be posting on Facebook, Twitter, and our website a kavvanah from a member of the PAS staff. We hope you enjoy these reflections on the holiday.

Wishing you a Hag Urim Sameah!

Second Night of Hanukkah
December 13, 2017

Jennifer Stern Granowitz, Director
Rachel Singer, Assistant Director
Congregational School

Hanukkah coincides with the coming of winter, when there are fewer hours of daylight. Hanukkah is a festival of light in the darkness, a time of less sunlight enhanced by eight days of candle light.

In this poem, the Jerusalemite poetess Zelda talks about feeling part of celestial rhythms. Her thought seems fitting as we celebrate Hanukkah.

Read the poem as the Hanukkah lights are burning. How will you bring light into the darkness at this time of year?

הַבַּיִת הַצָּנוּעַ שֻׁתָּף
לְהִלּוּלוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם
הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ מַשְׁלִיךְ אֶל תּוֹכוֹ
אֶת זְהָבוֹ הַבּוֹעֵר
מֵצִיף אוֹתוֹ בַּאֲפֵלַת כּוֹכָבִים



The humble home is partner to celestial celebration
The sun casts
Its burning gold
And the night
Floods it with stardust

―Zelda, translated by Rachel Singer