RELIGION BRIEF

Hanukkah olive oil tastings at Stop & Shop

Free and open to the public, pre-Hanukkah community outreach and education events will be held at Stop & Shop Supermarkets from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16 at Faunce Corner Road in Dartmouth, and from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17 at Dartmouth Street in New Bedford.

Adults and children are invited to a taste-test of different kinds of olive oil while learning about the joyous Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. There will be samples of traditional Hanukkah foods and items on display, free recipes to take home, as well as free gifts for the children.

Hanukkah, also known as the "Festival of Lights" or the "Festival of Rededication," is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days, usually during the months of November or December. This year, Hanukkah is celebrated from the evening of Dec. 21-29.

Hanukkah commemorates the military victory of the Jewish fighters the Maccabees in the 2nd century BCE, over the Syrian-Greek regime of Antiochus, and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. When the Maccabees wanted to rededicate the Temple, they discovered that there was only one day's supply of specially prepared pure olive oil for the candelabrum used in Jewish religious ceremonies. Miraculously, the single day's supply of oil burned for eight days, enough time for more olive oil to be prepared. This is why olive oil is central to this holiday. Hanukkah commemorates this miracle with the lighting of candles on eight successive nights.

The event is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford in collaboration with the Jewish Outreach Institute and Stop & Shop Supermarkets.

The Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford is the central fundraising, community building and social service agency of the Jewish community of Greater New Bedford. For more information, call Olga Yorish at (508) 997-7471, or visit www.jewishnewbedford.org.


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