The warmth of Hanukkah was felt in the Village of Palmetto Bay on Sunday, Dec. 21, as some 100 residents gathered around the Coral Reef Park gazebo for a festive celebration hosted by the Chabad of Palmetto Bay.
Local children were entertained by the creative crafts, bounce house, Chanukah games, live animal show, and were “wowed” by the six-foot tall chocolate coin menorah.
Rabbi Zalman Gansburg addressed the crowd and explained the significance of the 36 candles that are lit during the eight days of Hanukkah.
The 36 candles are connected to the 36 hours in which Adam had the merit to bask in a holy light in the Garden of Eden. This special light was then hidden from the world only to be revealed on certain occasions. One such occasion is Hanukkah as the light is hidden in the menorah’s candles.
Rebbetzin Chani Gansburg presented Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava with a silver Tzedakah (charity) box and Village Mayor Eugene Flinn received a menorah portraying the 12 tribes of Israel.
Rabbi Gansburg explained to the mayor that the Jewish Nation is comprised of 12 tribes, each one different and unique, yet all equally important in their contributions. These differences are necessary and, in fact, bring out the beauty of the nation. Village Councilmember Karyn Cunningham had the honor of lighting the candles, followed by the dismantling of the chocolate coin menorah, showering the delighted children with a sweet taste of the holiday.
Vice Mayor John DuBois also participated in the festivities and former Mayor Shelley Stanczyk was the winner of a miniature Torah door prize.
While the children played, residents of all ages enjoyed the traditional holiday delicacy of jelly donuts, and had the opportunity to learn more about Hanukkah and its traditions. Dozens of menorahs, dreidels and Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins) were distributed amid festive holiday music and dancing.
For information about future community classes and events visit www.JewishPalmettoBay.org or call 786-282-0413.