ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) – The largest menorah in southern Minnesota was illuminated Tuesday evening at Chabad Lubavitch of Rochester.
More than a dozen spectators gathered to see the ten-foot menorah undeterred by a light snowfall.
Shortly after people sang a song, Rabbi Dovid Greene brought the candelabrum to life, kicking off the third day of Hanukkah, an eight-day celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights.
The ceremony featured remarks from executive directors of the Ronald McDonald House, and the Gift of Life Transplant House.
“The message of the advantage of light over darkness, of holiness over the opposite of holiness, of right over might is a universal message for all people,” said Rabbi Greene. “When you kindle a light for yourself, other people are illuminated, hence the idea of lighting it in the public and inviting people over to enjoy it and celebrating with our neighbors.”
Hanukkah is typically emblematic of everything good and positive in the Jewish tradition. It’s a celebration of Jews overcoming darkness. This year, in the face of growing anti-Semitism nationwide, the celebration also seemed like a fitting occasion to reflect and vow resilience.
“The only way to combat darkness is light. All we can do is bring in light, and be a source of illumination for everyone around us,” Rabbi Greene said.
He added: “When Jews come together we can create a lot of light and show solidarity to the rest of the world.”
Since the Hanukkah story involves oil, it’s customary to eat fried foods. Guests were treated to latkes and donuts. Free dreidels and Menorah kits were also handed out to attendees.