Community invited to live taping of Chanukah special

June 19th, 2015 8:55 am

First Posted: 11/24/2014

Community members are invited to participate as part of a live theater audience for the taping of a Chanukah television special, “Eight Nights: A Chanukah Musical Celebration,” at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1 at the WVIA Public Media Studios in Pittston.

The Jewish Discovery Center, Clarks Summit, and WVIA Public Media are partnering to present the special, which will premiere on television on on WVIA TV at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Free seats may be reserved in the Sordoni High-Definition Theater at the WVIA Studios by calling 570-602-1150.

“Eight Nights: A Chanukah Musical Celebration” will include a 7-foot menorah lighting, an interpretation of Chanukah classics by Jazz Pianist Phillip Bar and a choral set by the popular a cappella group Shir Soul. Led by arranger, composer and vocalist David Ross, the all-male vocal ensemble toured across the US and performed twice at the White House Menorah lighting ceremonies.

The show will also allow viewers to learn more about the story of Chanukah and its modern-day lessons through short two-minute inspirational messages by Rabbi Benny Rapoport, co-director of the Jewish Discovery Center.

Chanukah celebrates the miraculous victory of a small band of Jewish fighters, known as the Maccabees, over the oppressive Syrian-Greeks in 139 BCE. Led by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Syrian-Greeks occupied the Holy Land and outlawed Jewish observance and Torah-study. After the miracles on the battlefield, when the Maccabees came to rededicate the Holy Temple, they discovered the enemy defiled all of the pure olive oil prepared for the Menorah. The story tells that miraculously, the one tiny flask that they discovered burned for eight days, until new oil could be produced.

Chanukah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, is celebrated for eight nights with the lighting of the menorah, traditional food fried in oil, dreidel games and gifts.