Hanukkah, Thanksgiving Holidays in Rare Overlap - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Hanukkah, Thanksgiving Holidays in Rare Overlap

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Wednesday night marks the start of Hanukkah -- the Jewish Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication.

Jews celebrate Hanukkah over eight days by lighting candles on a menorah. It commemorates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem centuries ago.

Tradition also has it that a candelabra miraculously burned for eight days with only one day's worth of oil.

The overlap of the two holidays doesn't happen very often. The last time it happened this way was in 1945, but a local rabbi tells us the messages of the two holidays go perfectly together. "You know, it's such synchronicity, because both of them deal with religious freedom. The Pilgrims were on their way trying to find a space to practice religion the way they wanted to as well as the Jews centuries ago who wanted to practice Judaism," says Rabbi ElizaBeth Beyer of Temple Beth Or.

The lunisolar nature of the Jewish calendar makes Hanukkah and other religious observances appear to drift slightly from year to year when compared to the U.S., or Gregorian, calendar. Jewish practice calls for the first candle of eight-day Hanukkah to be lit the night before Thanksgiving Day this year, so technically "Thanksgivukkah," - or "Thanksgivvukah," falls on the "second candle" night.

Temple Beth Or is inviting the public to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah at 6:30pm Wednesday at 1150 Selmi Drive, Suite 502 in Reno.

Interfaith leaders from northern Nevada will participate in the 28th Annual Thanksgiving Eve Service.

A worship service of prayers, readings and music from a variety of faith traditions, monetary donations will be made to the Family Shelter in downtown Reno and food donations to the Restart Food Pantry.

This year's event, themed "Give Thanks in Every Moment," is sponsored by the Nevada Clergy Association. The service will be held on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 7 p.m. and is hosted this year by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Reno Stake at 1095 Golconda Drive.

Washoe County Schools Superintendant Pedro Martinez will deliver the keynote address.

The next time Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap will be in the year 2070.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman helped light the National Menorah near the White House to mark the start of Hanukkah. President Jimmy Carter attended the first White House menorah lighting in 1979. President Ronald Reagan dubbed it the "National Menorah."

Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement today on the beginning of Hanukkah: 
"I am delighted to be reminded of the centuries old story that brings hope and joy to so many families. The celebration of Hanukkah is a reminder of the hope we all have for Nevada's bright future. The tale of Hanukkah is about keeping faith in the darkest of times, and the story of overcoming adversity through perseverance is one that can continue to inspire all Nevadans.
"As families gather to celebrate throughout Nevada and our country, let us all remember our neighbors in need and what we can do to support them and make our communities stronger. We can all draw strength from the support of our loved ones to forge new, better paths forward. This holiday is an important opportunity for families, friends, and communities to rejoice with one another and I wish everyone celebrating Hanukkah a Chag Sameach."

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