KIHEI - The annual Community Chanukah Party thrown by the Jewish Congregation of Maui will be held Dec. 27, from 4:30 to 8 p.m., at Beit Shalom Synagogue.
The evening will feature a candle lighting ceremony, communal singing and games and prizes. DJ Dan Weisman will be providing guests with music and entertainment. Door prizes and children's gift bags will be presented, and items from the Judaica Store will be available for purchase.
During the month of December, Jews around the world celebrate the Festival of Chanukah.
For eight days and nights beginning Tuesday, the Jewish community will be lighting the candles of menorahs, eating traditional foods, singing songs, playing games and giving gifts.
"The radiance of the Chanukah candles penetrates into the depth of the winter night, permeating it with warmth and transforming the darkness itself into a light force," a news release about the event said. "It is a light that fills the soul and warms the heart during the darkest time of year."
The celebration has its roots in an event 2,000 years ago, after the Greeks conquered and defiled the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Judah Maccabee led the Hasmonean Jewish resistance and recaptured Jerusalem and the temple.
As they re-sanctified the temple, the Jewish people found only one sealed earthenware jar of purified olive oil with which to light the Temple Menorah, or candelabra. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, but the oil miraculously lasted eight days, which is the time that it took to prepare new oil.
Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, celebrates the miracle of the oil and the victories of the Jewish people over their oppressors throughout history. Foods like latkes, potato pancakes and sufganiyot, jelly-filled doughnuts that are fried in oil, remind the Jewish people of the miracle of the oil.
Songs that articulate the victory of the Maccabees also add to the joy of the holiday.
Beit Shalom Synagogue is located at 634 Alulike St.
Menorahs, candles, gifts and accessories are currently available at the Jewish Congregation of Maui's Judaica Store.
For more information, call 874-5397 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.