At the darkest time of year, Hanukkah shines bright

Community celebrates with menorah lighting and gelt drop at village park


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  • Emma, 8, and Leah Thomas, 6, from Pine Bush, were bundled up to join the menorah lighting in Goshen’s Village Park after completing the maze in a shop on Main Street. The girls' mom, Amy Thomas, said they also had a Christmas tree at home and received Hanukkah gifts, too. (Photo by Geri Corey)




  • The menorah being lit at Village Park (Photo provided by Chabad of Orange County)




  • Leslie Campilonga joined in the fun at Linda’s Office Supply. “I earned a prize for finishing the maze,” she proudly said. Campilonga works as a paralegal in the Joseph J. Haspel law office in Goshen. (Photo by Geri Corey)




  • Two-year-old Daniel Kossar of Monroe had a good time playing with Frosty the Snowman while other children joined in doing crafts. (Photo by Geri Corey)




  • Landry Master and Mr. Dreidel Man at High Withers Wine & Spirits on Main Street as part of the village walk (Photo provided by Chabad of Orange County)




  • Children at Sweet Tymes candy store as part of the village walk (Photo provided by Chabad of Orange County)




  • Children at Goshen Hardware, part of the Hanukkah village walk (Photo provided by Chabad of Orange County)




  • Rabbi Meir Borenstein of Chabad, Mr. Dreidel Man, and Major Cohen of West Point at the menorah lighting (Photo provided by Chabad of Orange County)




  • Children at Baxter’s Pharmacy, part of the Hanukkah village walk (Photo provided by Chabad of Orange County)




By Geri Corey

— The Jewish community was happy to celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish Feast of Lights, with a menorah lighting on Dec. 13 in Goshen's Village Park.

Again this year, Rabbi Meir and Rivkie Borenstein of Chabad of Orange County planned the ceremony, which included a gelt drop — that is, a cascade of chocolate coins falling from above to the delighted children waiting below. The kids were thrilled to search for the coins in the grass, stashing their finds to eat later.

The ceremony began with well wishes from local officials, and everyone joining in traditional Hanukkah songs.

Then came the main event, the lighting of the menorah candles. The menorah is of such a grand size, a forklift is needed both to reach the candles and drop the gelt. The menorah continues to light up for the entire eight days of the holiday, until all its candles are bright.

Hanukkah dates back to ancient times, when the Jews in Judea defeated the Syrian tyrant Antiochus IV. After disposing of Syrian idols from the Temple, they found only one small cruet of oil with which to light their holy lamps. Miraculously, the small bottle provided oil for eight days. The Jewish leader Judas Maccabacus proclaimed a festival to be observed by Jews to honor the miracle.

Hanukkah begins on the eve of the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev and lasts eight days. It usually falls in December. Each evening, one additional candle is lighted to the menorah, ending with all eight candles illuminated.

Before the ceremony began, children were encouraged to visit stores on Main Street to enjoy Hanukkah games, crafts, and receive small gifts. Participating stores included Linda’s Office Supply, Goshen Hardware, Baxter’s Pharmacy, Goshen Wine and Spirit, and Sweet Thyme candy store.











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