several years before converting. The process included lots of study and
consideration, Carol said.
"It was a choice, and one has to go through quite a process
emotionally," she said. This year, the Bourlands look forward to a
Hanukkah celebration with family, friends and the Temple Sinai
congregation. The holiday means "standing up for what you believe in,"
and recognizing religious freedom, Bourland said.
Hanukkah, which begins at sundown Sunday, is an eight-day celebration
of the miraculous victory of the Jews, led by the Maccabees, against
Greek persecution and religious oppression. In addition to victory in
war, a miracle occurred that's celebrated with the lighting of the
Menorah. When the Maccabees -- a group of priests committed to resisting
the Greeks -- came to rededicate the Temple, they found only one flask of
oil to light the Menorah. This small flask, a one-day portion, lasted for
Staying in tune with Hanukkah after years of celebrating Christmas can
be challenging for her family, Bourland said. To go from one to the
other, the family has had to slowly wean itself from Christmas
traditions, she said. They try to de-emphasize Christmas by focusing less
on gifts and making the lighting of the menorah candles "more of a
reflective moment," she said.
Hanukkah is more of a national than religious holiday, said Rabbi
Jeffrey Ronald of Temple Sinai of Glendale. "It's asserting our identity
in the world where Jews are a minority."
This year's celebration carries even more weight, Ronald said,
considering the events of Sept. 11 and the turmoil in Israel.
"I have a feeling the holiday will mean all the more in terms of Jews
asserting their right to the land in Israel," he said.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Hanukkah Sabbath service at Temple Sinai of Glendale.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14.
WHERE: Temple Sinai of Glendale, 1212 N. Pacific Ave.