Jewish community across the region adapts for pandemic-hit Hanukkah

  • Sally Simpson reports.

Hanukkah, the annual Jewish Festival of Light has begun, but like everyone else, Jewish communities around the region are having to tailor their celebrations to fit in with Coronavirus restrictions.

The festival is an eight-day celebration involving food, prayer and the lighting of a menorah. This year it runs from December 10-18.

Usually the celebrations involve gatherings with family friends, but people such as Rabbi Eli Pink at the Chabad-Lubavitch Centre in Leeds – have been forced to change their plans this year to accommodate social distancing.

Volunteers across Leeds have been delivering parcels dubbed as 'Hanukkah in a box' to people across the city these, containing everything you need to celebrate the festivities in the comfort of your own home. 

More than 500 have been given to teenagers and young professionals in the community.

Elsewhere in Lincolnshire, members of the Jewish Community are calling on people to share the lighting of the menorah for the first night of Hanukkah via zoom.

The Jewish festival begins at sunset on the 25th day of the month of Kislev in the Hebrew Calendar, typically near Christmas.

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.

To celebrate reclaiming the temple, the Maccabeans lit a lamp as a symbol of God’s presence but realised it only had enough oil to remain lit for one day - miraculously, it lasted eight.