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Marking Chanukah with ceremony at Goldenstein

Dorit Herlinger’s Judaica includes the red-rock inspired chanukiot.

Dorit Herlinger’s Judaica includes the red-rock inspired chanukiot.

On Saturday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m. there will be a special Chanukah candle lighting ceremony with Rabbi Alicia Magal at Goldenstein Gallery in uptown Sedona. The Chanukah holiday celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and is representative of the rededication of the temple at Jerusalem. The chanukiot (Chanukah menorahs) to be used in the ceremony is part of Goldenstein Gallery artist Dorit Herlinger’s desert collection which made its debut in Croatia in September.

Dorit Herlinger’s elegant art jewelry and Judaica is influenced by the sights, smells and sounds of the desert life that surround us in Arizona and the holy city of Jerusalem. Herlinger is 11th generation born in Jerusalem.  She uses sterling silver, eighteen-karat gold, and a variety of mixed media including glass, working with vibrant colors to create stunning abstract pieces that always get attention, are classy, and compliment. She was recently part of a 3-woman show in Croatia where she represented the United States. Her Judaic art includes Menorahs, Mezuzahs, Dreidels and Star of David jewelry.

According to Jewish history, more than twenty-one centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God.

When they sought to light the Temple’s menorah, they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks; miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.

To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Chanukah. At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah lighting: a single flame on the first night, two on the second evening, and so on till the eighth night of Chanukah, when all eight lights are kindled.

Chanukah customs include eating foods fried in oil -- latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (doughnuts); playing with the dreidel (a spinning top on which are inscribed the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hei and shin, an acronym for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, “a great miracle happened there”).

The public is invited to this special evening at Goldenstein Gallery on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. Rabbi Magal will light the candles and lead some traditional songs, Latkes and sufganiot will be served. There has been standing room only at recent events so it is recommended that people arrive early.

Goldenstein Gallery is located at 390 N. 89A in uptown Sedona and is open daily. Parking available behind the gallery. Visit their Web site www.GoldensteinArt.com or call (928) 204-1765 for additional information.

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