Sutton’s First Night of Chanukah 2015 Celebration
We celebrated the first night of Chanukah, Sunday 6th December, with the Klezmer band, Shir. This was their third visit to Sutton Shul. An audience of over a hundred people attended, from the very youngest pre school children of the community to guests from Nightingale Care Home, Friends of Israel and Christian supporters of the Jewish faith.
Shir created a fantastic atmosphere with audience participation. They began with a pulsing beat and soaring clarinet that immediately captivated attention, everyone tapping feet, clapping hands and dancing! I particularly enjoyed watching the very young children dancing or moving to the music.
Shir has an evocative repertoire of Yiddish, Ladino and Israeli songs and melodies, a rich variety of different kinds of Jewish music from different periods of history, from exuberant simcha to quietly reflective pieces. The four piece band - guitar, clarinet, double bass and drums gave a virtuoso performance. They had an excellent rapport with the audience. Those who were not there missed something very special.
Before the interval, Rabbi Sagal reminded us of Chanukah's message, to keep the Jewish spirit alive, and led us in singing the traditional blessings and songs for lighting the Chanukah candles, sensitively accompanied by Shir. June Lewis lit the candles for the Epsom Chanukiya. The children proudly lit their own Chanukiyot and later sang us Chanukah songs in English to resounding applause. It was clear they were having a thoroughly good time.