Hanukkah 2020

Happy Hanukkah prayers, messages and images

The festival of lights begins on Thursday and while in 2020 it'll be somewhat different than previous ones, there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate.

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Happy Hanukkah prayers, messages and images
EMMANUEL DUNAND AFP

Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights. The festival, which means “dedication”, is celebrated with the lighting of one new candle on the menorah each night as well as traditional foods, games and gifts. The holiday although minor in religious terms has major cultural significance as an alternative to Christmas.

In 2020, Hanukkah will begin at sundown on Thursday, 10 December and continues through Friday 18 December.

Although this year’s celebrations may be dampened for some, as gatherings with friends and family are on pause, the internet is still brimming with well wishes, messages, pictures, memes and prayers.

Hanukkah 2020 recipes

With so many people spending much time indoors this year, it’s unsurprising that people are showing off recipes and delicious spreads.

Some went all political, referring to Donald Trump’s sustained and on going losing streak in the courts over blatantly untrue claims of election fraud.

One Twitter user commented "I personally like all the lawsuits and recounts. It's turned 1 day of Trump losing into 36 days of Trump losing. It's like Hannukah for democrats"

Puppy for Hanukkah?

Rapper Daveed Diggs gave kids in 2020 just the inspiration they need for the eight-day gift-giving bonanza - much to parents’ dismay - when he composed a brand new Hanukkah song, Puppy for Hanukkah. Now, where’s the poop scoop?

Virtual Hanukkah in 2020

In New York, Chabad of Long Island is planning 35 events across the region, to brighten up a darker than usual Hanukkah. The organization will distribute menorahs, candles and special kits for those celebrating at home. They will also be offering a “pop-up Chanukah” which will involve celebrations held from menorah-topped pickup trucks which park outside people’s homes.

Yo La Tengo’s traditional Hanukkah eight-night concert will move online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, 18 December 8 pm ET - the last night of Hanukkah – Yo La Tengo will present a stripped-down version of their usual festive fare, streamed live from The Greene Space at WNYC. As in previous years, the evening will feature a surprise opening musical act, a comedic performance and a set by Yo La Tengo.

If you're celebrating Hanukkah this year here's a prayer for your first night, somewhat relevant to 2020 on unity and strength in the face of adversity.

A Hanukkah Prayer: We are the Miracle!

As we celebrate the festival of lights
And this season of miracles
We are reminded
That the real miracle of Hanukkah
Is not the bit of oil that burned for eight days
Nor the military victory of the Maccabees.
We are the real miracle!
We are here to tell our story!
Empires have risen and fallen;
Our faith has been challenged.
Our people attacked.
Yet we are here to light the candles
That remind us who we are: a people,
United in history and in faith.
No matter our differences
We share a common bond,
We recall a single story,
We celebrate an ancient-modern land,
We speak a holy language,
We learn words that extend from Sinai to our own day.
With each passing year, may the light grow brighter,
And the challenge more compelling
To carry on not by might nor power
But through the spirit of nationhood and faith.

By Rabbi Mark Greenspan, Oceanside Jewish Center, Oceanside, NY

Stay safe, and Happy Hannukah!