Lighting up the skies, the Dead Sea, the mountains, the communities, the gardens and everyone's homes. What a magical time to be in Israel and at the Dead Sea.

Menorah at Masada photo Rabbi Samso
Dead Sea Mall 3
Dead Sea Mall 4
Family gathering at Hanukkah
Hannuka, Festival of lights, is celebrated annually in December.  The eight day celebration commemorates the rising of Jews against their Greek/Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt and also the miracle of one day's oil lighting the candles for eight whole days.  All over the world the Jewish people celebrate by the lighting of the Menorah - of all shapes and sizes - and here at the Dead Sea the festival is commemorated with not only lights and doughnuts (a traditional Hannuka food together with fried fritters - symbolizing the miracle of the oil) but also children's festivities, family gatherings and candle lighting ceremonies.  

This year, at the Dead Sea, for the first time, a fabulous light show, took place at Ein Bokek on the promenade.  The Dead Sea Mall lit up like a birthday cake, and all along the promenade, activities, stalls, music and festivities entertained the hundreds of visitors.  Local vendors, local crafts, homemade cuisine and local singers and entertainers delighted everyone and created an atmosphere of light, fun and togetherness.  You can see in the pictures how much effort was invested in this event that will now, no doubt, become a tradition at the lowest place on earth.

Kibbutz Ein Gedi for the past forty years has been lighting a Menorah on the mountain overlooking the kibbutz.  Everyday, for eight days, residents of the kibbutz climb the mountain, perform a Hanukkah ceremony and light the flames that continuing burning throughout the holiday (weather permitting!).  Another tradition, that brings all the communities of the Tamar Regional Council together, is the traditional 'Children's Day' - in memory of Mani Cohen, a member of Kibbutz Ein Gedi.  Every year the children enjoy a day of crafts, bouncy castles, sporting events, funfair rides, doughnuts, fritters and loads more, open to all the Tamar communities to take part in and celebrate together the wonders of the miracle of Hanukkah.

Masada Mountain, reigning with pride over the Dead Sea, invites all its visitors to special events during the week with emphasis on the Masada 'Dusk to Dawn' sound and light show and, of course, two thousand years after the great revolt and its tragic end - a Menorah lights up in the synagogue building at Masada. The building was built during Herod's period, probably as a stable for horses, and was converted into a synagogue during the Great Revolt.

We hope that all our readers across the globe enjoyed their traditional holiday as we most certainly enjoyed ours!


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