Love latkes? Want to see chocolate gelt drop from the sky?
Join friends and neighbors on the cold winter nights ahead with Chabad of Orange County, headed by Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, which is providing an array of festive Hanukkah celebrations for all ages.
Chanukah, the Jewish festival of lights, begins this year on Sunday, Dec. 22, and concludes the evening of Monday, Dec. 30. Chabad's highlights this year include the popular fire truck gelt (chocolate coins) drop at the menorah lighting in Monroe, the lighting of a "Can-orah" made of food can donations in Chester, smiles for senior citizens in Goshen, a Tuxedo menorah lighting, and a community-wide social-media #ShareTheLights initiative.
“The Menorah’s message is universal,” said Rabbi Pesach. “It demonstrates light over darkness, freedom over oppression and religious freedom.”
The ceremonies will include the traditional lighting of the menorah, the singing of Hanukkah songs, “dreidels,” hot latkes, and other traditional treats. Local dignitaries will be joining and sharing words of greeting.
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, recalls the victory more than 2,100 years ago of a militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people, over the mighty forces of a ruthless enemy that had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life, prohibit religious freedom and force the Jewish people to accept a foreign religion.
During the occupation of Jerusalem and the temple, the Syrian Greeks desecrated and defiled the oils prepared for the lighting of the menorah, which was part of the daily service in the Temple, and rendered them unfit for use. Upon recapturing the Temple, the Jewish People found one lone jar of undefiled oil, enough to burn for only one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight days until new, pure olive oil was produced. Ever since, in commemoration of this event, the Jewish people celebrate for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabra known as a menorah, which serves as a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.
For more information call 845-782-2770, email rabbi@ChabadOrange.com, or visit ChabadOrange.com.