From Key West to Tallahassee, almost every city in South Florida will this year host a public Menorah lighting. They will join the over 15,000 Public Menorahs set up by Chabad throughout the world, symbolizing the universal message of religious freedom. Today, the unprecedented public display of Chanukah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever altering the American practice and awareness of the festival. Public Menorahs have become commonly displayed at all public venues, including landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower, and the Kremlin helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message.
Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, begins this year on the evening of Sunday, December 2 and concludes the evening of Monday, December 10. It recalls the victory of a militarily weak Jewish people who defeated the Syrian Greeks who had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life and prohibit religious freedom. They also desecrated and defiled the Temple and the oils prepared for the lighting of the menorah, which was part of the daily service. Upon recapturing the Temple only one jar of undefiled oil was found, enough to burn only one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight. In commemoration Jews celebrate Chanukah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabra known as a menorah. Today, people of all faiths consider the holiday a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness, and good over evil.
You are welcome to come help us build a full size Menorah made out of LEGO on Sunday, Dec 2 at the annual holiday Street Fair in Highland Lakes. The event will also feature numerous performances throughout the day, a circus, rides for the kids, Laser Tag, Game Trucks, Bounce Houses, Face Painting, Music, Food and much more! The LEGO MENORAH will then be lit in honor of the people of Pittsburgh.
The menorah serves as a symbol of dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all citizens to worship G‑d freely, openly, and with pride. Specifically in America, a nation that was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion free from restraint and persecution.
Parents want their children to grow up with pride in their Jewish heritage and a feeling of equality and self-confident as Americans. Chabad Lubavitch’s Chanukah menorahs are arguably one of the most important developments ever to help a child’s education.
The message of Chanukah is the message of light. The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.
Throughout the sunny State of Florida, Chabad will be presenting scores of Chanukah events and celebrations, including public Menorah Lightings, Giant Menorahs made out of ice, Lego and chocolate, Menorah Parades, Latke Parties, Giant Dreidel Houses,“Chanukah Wonderlands” and more. To find a local event here in Florida, or anywhere throughout the world, visit the international Chanukah event directory at ChabadChayil.org/Chanukah.
Large display Menorahs are available at many online sources and can still get to you in time for the holiday. If you need a menorah or candles for yourself, or need any help celebrating the holiday or finding a large Menorah to display at your place of work, please call your local Chabad or my office at (305) 770-1919. We can also help you plan your own Chanukah event, Menorah lighting or Latke party.
We wish you and your family a very happy Chaunkah. May our days be filled with light, warmth, joy and positive energy, and always increasing, just like the Menorah lights that increase with each day.
To join us for the annual beautiful Street Fair call (305) 770-1919 or visit ChabadChayil.org/fair.
About the author
Rabbi Kievman is the ambassador of The Rebbe to Highland Lakes, FL. He’s founder of CHAP – an afterschool program for Jewish children in Public Schools, rabbi at The Family Shul & together with his wife directs Chabad Chayil. He can be reached at (305) 770-1919 or rabbi@ChabadChayil.org
Below is a recap of the successful Chanukah Event