Chanukah launches in Poipu, closes in Princeville

POIPU — This is the first time in hundreds of years that Chanukah coincided with Thanksgiving, said Rabbi Michoel Goldman.

Taking advantage of the Kauai Culinary Market, Goldman installed the Tiki-Torch Menorah at the Palm Court at The Shops at Kukuiula and following a short explanation of Chanukah and an invitation to enjoy special Chanukah treats, lit the first candle.

“This year marks a historic calendar,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack, the Shops at Kukuiula assistant real estate manager. “The convergence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah last happened in 1888, and the next time is centuries away.”

Goldman said Chanukah ends with the lighting of the eighth candle, which will take place Sunday at the bluff near the St. Regis Princeville resort. The public is invited to the free festivities that start at 5 p.m. with an outdoor Jewish Music Concert featuring local musicians.

The birth of the Menorah and its eight days of lighting candles go back to when the Greeks destroyed a temple, Goldman said.

“After much searching, people found some oil in the ruins of the temple,” the rabbi said. “It was only enough for a day. It took eight days to produce oil. After lighting the candle, the flame burned for eight days — enough time for the people to produce oil.”

He said the significance of the menorah is taking light to disspell darkness, the lighting of each candle on each night kindling the flame within one’s self.

“Sunday’s lighting of the eighth candle will be the last public menorah lighting on Earth this year,” Goldman said. “As we kindle a full-Menorah of eight flames, we will illuminate the darkness like never before, culminating the Festival of Chanukah for the entire world.”

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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