Chabad Of Orange County Offers Unique Chanukah Events for the Community
Fire Truck Chanukah Candy Drop, Military Menorah & Contest among highlights
Chanukah, the Jewish festival of lights, is celebrated this year December 12 through 20, 2017, with the kindling of the first candle Tuesday evening, December 12. Chabad of Orange County, headed by Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston, is providing an array of festive and unique Chanukah celebrations for all ages, regardless of background or affiliation. Highlights this year
include the popular fire truck Chanukah Gelt (chocolate coins) drop at the Menorah Lighting in Monroe, the lighting of a Military Menorah in Chester, a Tuxedo Menorah Lighting as well as an Orange County community-wide Menorah Contest.
“The Menorah serves as a symbol of Orange County’s dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship G-d freely, openly, and with pride,” says Rabbi Pesach Burston. “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, the Menorah takes on profound significance, embodying both religious and constitutional principles.”
What is Chanukah?
Chanukah, (or sometimes called Hanukah because it can be difficult to pronounce the Hebrew “cha”), the Festival of Lights, recalls the victory more than 2100 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 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 Chanukah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabra known as a
Menorah. The menorah is placed on a window or a doorpost facing the outside in order to publicize G-d’s miracle, with its message of hope and religious freedom, to all. Today, to people of all faiths, the Chanukah holiday serves as a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.