2018 MAJCo State Capital Chanukah Event & Meeting
*** Thursday, December 6 ***
Lighting of community chanukiot and address by the Governor – noon
(MAJCo meeting to follow in capital conference room to be announced)
WHAT IS MAJCo?
The Montana Association of Jewish Communities (MAJCo) is an umbrella organization that includes representation from Jewish communities across the length and breadth of the great state of Montana. Membership in MAJCo is open to any Jewish community, whatever the “stream,” within Montana. (Acceptance by the current communities is required.)
Small Jewish communities in rural areas do not exist in a vacuum. Three decades ago, our Jewish communities created MAJCo, an association of all the organized Montana Jewish communities. Through MAJCo, we keep in touch and have created a community throughout this great big beautiful state.
The Jewish communities in the Big Sky currently include:
• Congregation Beth Aaron, Billings
• Chabad Lubavitch of Montana, Bozeman
• Congregation Beth Shalom, Bozeman
• Congregation B’nai Israel, Butte
• Congregation Aitz Chaim, Great Falls
• Helena Jewish Community, Helena
• Glacier Jewish Community/B’nai Shalom, Kalispell-Whitefish
• Chabad Lubavitch of Missoula, Missoula
• Congregation Har Shalom, Missoula
We have firmed up plans for our annual Chanukah candle lighting for Monday, December 18th, 30 Kislev, beginning at noon in the Capitol rotunda in Helena. Governor Steve Bullock is scheduled to join us.
I will schedule a room for a meeting of the MAJCo representatives. More information will follow soon about agenda.
PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THESE UPCOMING EVENTS: December 12-25, 2017, 24 Kislev — 7 Tevet, 5778
Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events.
- Wednesday, 12/13/2017—Wednesday, 12/20/2017, 25 Kislev — 2 Tevet, 5778: Chanukkah.
- Tuesday, 12/12/2017, 24 Kislev, 5778, 5:30 P.M.: Erev Chanukah. We will light the first candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Chanukkiah at the Civic Center. If you come at 5:30.30, you’ll probably miss it, especially if it is cold.
- Wednesday, 12/13/2017, 25 Kislev, 5778: First day of Chanukah. We will light the second candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
- Thursday, 12/14/2016, 26 Kislev, 5778: Second day of Chanukah. We will light the third candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
- Friday, 12/15/2017, 27 Kislev, 5778: Third day of Chanukah. We will light the fourth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
- Saturday, 12/16/2017, 28 Kislev, 5778: Fourth day of chanukah. We will light the fifth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M. From there we will go to the YWCA, 220 2nd Street North, for the annual community Chanukah party. Please bring a milchig (dairy) dish to share, and a hearty appetite for latkes and Sufganiyot.
- Sunday, 12/17/2017, 29 Kislev, 5778: Fifth day of Chanukah. We will light the sixth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
- Monday, 12/18/2017, 30 Kislev, 5778: 12:00 P.M.: Menorah lighting at the Montana State Capitol in Helena, followed by a MAJCo meeting at 1:00 P.M.
- Monday, 12/18/2017, 30 Kislev, 5778: Sixtht day of Chanukah. We will light the seventh candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.m.
- Tuesday, 12/19/2017, 1 Tevet, 5778: Seventh day of Chanukah. We will light the eighth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.m.
- Wednesday, 12/20/2017, 2 Tevet, 5778: Eighth day of Chanukah.
- Sunday-Monday, 12/24-25/2017, 6-7 Tevet, 5778: Christmas at the Mercy Home. Please see separate article in Ram’s Horn.
begins at sunset on Saturday December 24, 2016, and continues through nightfall on Sunday January 1, 2017. The first candle is lit the night of 12/24. The last candle is lit the night of 12/31.
JewFAQ: Answering Jewish Frequently Asked Questions for more than two decades!
In Hebrew Hanukah means “dedication.” In the years prior to 164 BCE, the Seleucid Empire (Syrian-Greeks) took over the Temple in Jerusalem, defiling it with pagan worship. When the Maccabees recaptured the Temple in 164 BCE , they ritually cleansed and rededicated it for Jewish worship once again. To mark this triumph, Hannukah was established as an 8-day national holiday, beginning on the 25th day of Kislev. The word Hannukah is also related to the Hebrew word for “education.” It is transliterated in many ways, including Hanukkah, Chanukkah, Hannukah and Channukah.
A 7-branched candelabrum, literally: “lamp”. The Torah gives specific instructions for how the Menorah was to be made and tended, and its light was to come from the purest olive oil. It is the oldest surviving symbol of Judaism. The golden Menorah that was made in the Desert stood inside the ancient Temple in Jerusalem . After the Maccabean victory, the Menorah was rekindled and rededicated. After the Second Temple’s destruction, and the seizure of the golden Menorah by the Romans in 70 CE, the menorah became a symbol of Jewish survival and continuity. The State of Israel has it as its emblem, and today it is a symbol often found in Jewish art and synagogue décor around the world.
This is a special kind of menorah used only during Hannukah, with branches or spaces for 9 candles -one for each of the 8 nights plus one for the “shammash” (see below). Hanuki’yot (plural) can be found today in a wide variety of designs, shapes, colors & materials. Traditionally, there are eight individual places for candles or flames all on the same level, far enough apart so as not to merge into a single flame. Jewish law stipulates that the 8 candles are not to be used for any practical purposes. They are not meant to be a light source for us to work by, but rather they are to be enjoyed for their beauty and as a reminder of the Hannukah miracles. The flames must last at least 30 minutes. While olive oil and wicks were used for centuries, today candles are typically used, though many Jews use oil and wicks to honor past traditions.
A “service” or utilitarian candle, called the “shammash,” is used to light the other candles on each of the 8 nights of Hannukah. It is lit first, then the brachot (blessings) are said or chanted, and then it’s used to light each of the other candles. The space for the shammash candle is set apart, above or below the other flames, to distinguish its status.
In 167 BCE, after the Seleucid king Antiochus issued decrees in Judea forbidding Jewish religious practice, a rural Jewish priest from Modi’in – Mattithias the Hasmonean – sparked the revolt against the Seleucid Empire by refusing to worship the Greek Gods. His son Judah, along with Judah’s 4 brothers, led an army of Jewish dissidents using guerrilla tactics to defeat the Seleucids in a military victory of the few over the many. Judah’s famous nickname was “Maccabee,” which means “hammer,” likely a reference to his military prowess. It may also be an acronym for the Torah verse attributed to Mattithias at the beginning of the revolt: “Mi Hamokha Ba’elim Adonai?” “Who is like You, Eternal, among the mighty? (lit: other gods)”
Dreidel (Yiddish) / Se’vivon (Hebrew)
A 4-sided spinning top. Both terms are related to the word “spin”. The dreidel or sevivon has a letter on each of its 4 sides: Nuhn, Gimmel, Hay, Sheen. These letters stand for “Nes Gadol Hayah Shahm” – A great miracle occurred there. This is a reference to the Talmudic legend describing the miracle of consecrated oil burning for 8 days when there was only enough to last for one. In Israel the sevivon has a different 4th letter, Peh, corresponding to the phrase “Nes Gadol Hayah POH” – A great miracle occurred HERE! The dreidel is used in low-stakes gambling games during Hannukah, involving pennies, M & M’s, nuts or raisins as tokens. It’s traditional to play for at least as long as the Hannukah flames are burning.
Latke (Yiddish) / Le’vivah (Hebrew)
The Ashkenazic (Eastern European) holiday treat is a savory potato pancake fried in oil. It is traditionally served with sour cream and/or apple sauce. Some people prefer them plump and golden, others insist that the thin, crispy variety is superior. In addition, we have the Sephardic (Spanish) treat: Sufganiot, donuts fried in oil with sweet fillings. These are especially popular today in Israel.
Yiddish for “gold “or “money.” Traditionally small coins were given to kids by grandparents or other relatives, as a token gift or to use while playing dreidel. Today, candy companies make a foil-covered chocolate version.
An important note here is that Hannukah is a minor holiday, and not a main gift-giving occasion. The Jewish festivals of Rosh HaShanah and Purim were the traditional times for gifts.
Hug Ureem Sa’me’ah – A Joyous Festival of Lights!
The traditional greeting/blessing we say to each other during Hannukah.
Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events.
- Saturday-Sunday, 12/24-25/2016, 24-25 Kislev, 5777: Christmas at the Mercy Home. Please see separate article in Ram’s Horn.
- Saturday, 12/24/2016—Saturday, 01/01/2017, 24 Kislev — 3 Tevet, 5777: Chanukkah.
- Saturday, 12/24/2016, 24 Kislev, 5777, 5:30 P.M.: Erev Chanukah. We will light the first candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Chanukkiah at the Civic Center. If you come at 5:30.30, you’ll probably miss it, especially if it is cold.
- Sunday, 12/25/2016, 25 Kislev, 5777: First day of Chanukah. We will light the second candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
- Monday, 12/26/2016, 26 Kislev, 5777: Second day of Chanukah. We will light the third candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
- Tuesday, 12/27/2016, 27 Kislev, 5777: Third day of Chanukah. We will light the fourth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
- Wednesday, 12/28/2016, 28 Kislev, 5777, 12:00 P.M.: Menorah lighting at the Montana State Capitol in Helena, followed by a MAJCo meeting at 1:00 P.M.
- Wednesday, 12/28/2016, 28 Kislev, 5777: Fourth day of chanukah. We will light the fifth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
- Thursday, 12/29/2016, 29 Kislev, 5777: Fifth day of Chanukah. We will light the sixth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
- Friday, 12/30/2016, 1 Tevet, 5777: Sixtht day of Chanukah. We will light the seventh candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.m. From there we will go to the home of Jerry and Nadyne Weissman, 2777 Green Briar Drive, for the annual community Chanukah party. Please bring a milchig (dairy) dish to share, and a hearty appetite for latkes and Sufganiyot.
- Saturday, 12/31/2016, 2 Tevet, 5777: Seventh day of Chanukah. We will light the eighth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.m.
- Sunday, 01/01/2017, 3 Tevet, 5777: Eighth day of Chanukah.
CHABAD-LUBAVITCH OF MONTANA INVITES YOU TO…
PLEASE JOIN ELI & BEREL, THE VISITING YESHIVA STUDENTS, WHO WILL ATTEND THE GRAND MENORAH LIGHTING @ THE CIVIC CENTER
TONIGHT DEC. 10, 5:30 PM
SUFGANIYOT FROM NEW YORK WILL BE SERVED
UPDATE: The road conditions for these young men were just too great to overcome. After the meetings and funeral in Helena, Nadyne, Aaron and Jerry returned in time to assist in lighting the Menorah in front of the Civic Center. We gave out the Sufganiyot from Brooklyn and they were enjoyed. The final box of these sugared jelly filled fried pastries were taken to Paris Gibson Square and given to them for their art opening on Thursday evening by Mimi and Gary Wolf.
Again thanks to Lubavitch Montana for providing.