Chag Urim Sameach

Chanukah celebrates two miracles. First is the victory of a small, greatly outnumbered and out-armed army of Jews, known as the “Maccabees,” over the mighty Greek army that occupied the Holy Land.

The kindling of a seven-branched Menorah (candelabra) was an important component of the daily service in the Holy Temple.

After the Maccabees liberated the Temple, they found only a small supply of pure and undefiled olive oil fit for fueling the Menorah — sufficient to light the Menorah for only one day. Although it would take eight days to produce new pure oil, miraculously, the oil burned for eight days and nights.

Local Chanukah events:

2:00 p.m. Sunday – Festival of Lights
Hineni Messianic Fellowship presents the Festival of Lights from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the fellowship, 1797 Old Moultrie Road. There is no admission charge, but a love offering will be accepted.

Highlights include the Hanukkah story, puppet show, Hanukkah skit, dreidel game and gelt, potato latkes, jelly doughnuts and more.

For information, call 827-9731.

5:30 p.m. Sunday – Latke party
The Sisterhood Congregation Sons of Israel, 161 Cordova St., will sponsor a Latke party with a performance by the Mogen David Players.

The cost is $7 for adults; $2.50 for children ages 12 and younger; free for children under 5.

Dinner includes potato pancakes, apple sauce, salads and a variety of kugels.

For tickets, call 797-2538.

6:00 p.m. Wednesday – Grand Hanukkah Celebration
Chabad invites the community to the fourth annual Grand Hanukkah Celebration in the Plaza de la Constitucion. A public Menorah kindling ceremony is planned, featuring south Florida’s newest Jewish rock sensation, Pardes Band. Public dignitaries and community leaders are expected to attend and assist in kindling the giant “Menorah of Freedom.”

“The message of Hanukkah,” said Rabbi Levi Vogel, director of the Chabad Jewish Center, “is one of hope in the face of extreme adversity.

“It’s a message with broad appeal to everyone who believes in religious freedom and that faith and determination can triumph against even the most overwhelming odds.”

For information, contact Chabad of St. Augustine at 521-8664.