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A local Rabbi speaks about Hanukkah celebration beginning amidst war

Posted at 5:37 PM, Dec 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-07 18:37:02-05
  • Hanukkah celebration begins Thursday night and will run through Dec. 15.
  • How a local Rabbi believes War in Gaza will impact Hanukkah 202.3
  • Video shows Rabbi and his two sons preparing for the holiday kickoff celebration at Charab of the Bay Area center.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Hanukkah begins Thursday night and might have a different feeling this year amidst war in Gaza.

Rabbi Micheol Feinstein, Co-Director and Rabbi at Charab of the Bay Area, expects a lot of people to celebrate the start of Hanukkah from all across Wisconsin.

"People come from Green Bay, of course. They also come from Appleton, Manitowoc, door county and even as far as Wausau," Feinstein said,

The Jewish holiday in Hebrew means "Dedication". It is also called the festival lights and is celebrated for eight days.

Holiday essentials include lighting the menorah each night, special prayers and traditional foods.

In preparing for the opening celebration, boxes of food were lined up. His sons also helped with the setup.

And Rabbi Feinstein says being together with family and friends means a little more this year.

"It's actually exactly two months since the attack on Israel on Oct. 7 -- two months later, people are still picking up the pieces," Feinstein said.

I then asked him if he thinks the war in Gaza will impact Hanukkah 2023.

"Certainly people will have in mind the hostages and the conflict and the war that's going on. I think that as much as the conflict will impact Hanukkah will impact the conflict," Feinestein said. "In other words, our celebrating Hanukkah and adding light will make the conflict and that much faster and in that much more of a positive way."

And during time of war, Rabbi Feinstein says he has felt the community's support.

"The neighbors have been unbelievably supportive offering any kind of help they can provide, just a kind word which actually goes a very very long way," Feinstein said.

For more information on the history of the Hanukkah and how it is celebrated, visit Hanukkah.org.