Hanukkah party celebrated in Minden

Rabbi Evon Yakar opens Friday’s Hanukkah party at the CVIC Hall in Minden.

Rabbi Evon Yakar opens Friday’s Hanukkah party at the CVIC Hall in Minden.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

For what could be the first time in history, a public celebration of Hanukkah arrived in Minden on Friday, the eighth day of the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Rabbi Evon Yakar said South Lake Tahoe’s Temple Bat Yam typically hosts a celebration in Carson City, but decided they bring it to Minden.

“We wanted to have a Hanukkah party, but there wasn’t a location, so we said, ‘let’s try it down here, and see what happens,’” he said. “It’s already double the people I thought would be here.”

Organizers said they planned on at most 30 people at the party, which featured Shabbat Services.

“The holiday of Hanukkah is an eight day festival of ancient origin but not a biblical holiday. It begins with the story of the Hasmoneans, we call them the Macabees, and their miracle story of the few and the weak over the mighty and the many and the reclaiming the ancient temple and their land and the ancient land of Israel,” Yakar said.

The celebration includes the lighting of the eight-candle Hanukkiah, which is a form of Menorah, symbolizing the miracle where a day’s worth of oil lasted eight days after the temple was reclaimed.

“This time of year, as it gets dark, what do we do in our Jewish tradition?” he asked. “We add light with our hanukkiah, the Hanukkah candelabra, we use to brighten the world at a dark time. Not just because of the season, but especially this year.”

The war between Israel and Hamas was not far from participants’ minds as were the increased incidents of anti-semitism in the United States.

One participant said she felt safer with Douglas County deputies at the door to the CVIC Hall.


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