OCEANSIDE — More than 100 people gathered at the Pier Amphitheater on Dec. 28, to celebrate the eighth and final day of Hanukkah. The celebration mixed holiday music, traditional dance, and teachings about the Hanukkah holiday.
The community celebration welcomed everyone to join in. “Why not break out the menorahs and celebrate the light of God?” Rabbi Barney Kasdan, of the Kehilat Ariel Messianic Synagogue, asked.
Between song sets, Kasdan retold the story of Hanukkah. Kasdan described the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek rulers of Jerusalem in 165 B.C. and the miracle that followed, when one day’s worth of oil lasted eight days. The nine-candle menorah on stage stood as a visual representation of Hanukkah.
The message shared through story and song was to remember history and appreciate diversity. “I hope to show the connection of Hanukkah and Christmas, the diversity of the different holidays, and the historical connection,” Kasdan said.
Messianic Judaism is a form of Christianity that holds the belief Jesus is the Messiah. “It’s kind of a hybrid,” Kasdan said. “Judaism and Christianity coming together.”