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Hanukkah Illuminated!

B’nai Sholom Program Tells the True Story of the Eight-Day Festival


Can Hanukkah be explained without resorting to supernatural tales of a little jar of oil?

Yes, says Rabbi Don Cashman, if one knows where to look.

B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation presents “The True Story of Hanukkah in Three Theories” on Thursday, December 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary, 217 Wolf Road, Albany. The evening will feature an enlightening talk by Rabbi Cashman and plenty of refreshments.

The account of the little jar of oil that miraculously burned for eight days may be the best-known story of Hanukkah, but it’s neither the oldest, nor the most sensible, nor the most convincing. In fact, it doesn’t even originate near the actual events. Rabbi Cashman will “illuminate the eight days” by taking the audience through the tales and documents of antiquity to explain:

  • why Hanukkah is celebrated;                                                                                                                               
  • why it lasts for eight days;
  • why it is celebrated with the kindling of lights.

 “There is a rational explanation – or two – that still permits us to celebrate Hanukkah for eight days with candles,” said Rabbi Cashman.

This special program is free and open to all. Reservations are appreciated but not required. To reserve a spot, or for more information, contact the B’nai Sholom office at 518-482-5283 or e-mail


Founded in 1971, B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany is a home for contemporary Reform Judaism in the Capital Region. Nearly 160 diverse households from six counties seek religious, educational and social fulfillment at B’nai Sholom.

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