Jewish festival celebrated in Christian church

02:38, Nov 30 2013
Hanukkah full
L to R, Rachel, Josh, Matthew and Diana Gillies celebrate Hanukkah at Holy Trinity Church

A piece of Jewish history was celebrated in a Christian church last night.

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, had its origins in the 2nd century BC, when a rebellion by a Jewish group, called the Maccabees, won a victory over the Syrian Greek regime that ruled Israel, Hanukkah dinner organiser Diana Gillies said.

More than 30 people tucked into dinner at the Holy Trinity Church in Fitzroy to celebrate the Jewish festival.

That the guerrillas were able to overcome the enemy was the first miracle, she said.

The temple in Jerusalem had been desecrated when a pig was offered on the altar. After it had been cleansed the Jews wanted to light the Menorah, but there was only enough of the correct oil for one day.

It took a week to make more oil, Mrs Gillies said.

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But after the Menorah was lit, the oil lasted 8 days.

"That was the second miracle. So each year the Jewish people light a candle for eight nights."

It was day three of the festival last night, so at the dinner three candles were lit.

Mrs Gillies said the festival wasn't one from the Bible, but they supported Israel, because of the church's Jewish roots.

They celebrated Hanukkah most years, but it was bigger this year after a notice in the paper got the word out, she said.

"I'm delighted with the response."

Taranaki Daily News