Thursday, July 9, 2020
Giant Menorah Lighting for the Community
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Susan Green, who observed the orthodox Jewish tradition growing up in the suburbs of New York and is now president of the Wood River Jewish Community, was among those who participated in the lighting of the giant Menorah last year.
   
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

A six-foot menorah will be lit on Thursday in Ketchum Town Square for the third straight year.

The community is invited to take place in the celebration, which will include dancing, singing and a chance to eat latkes and donuts—traditional Chanukah foods. The event will also feature chocolate Chanukah gelt and dreidels for children.

The event will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 26.

It is being presented by Chabad Lubavitch of Idaho. The lighting will be performed by Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz, along with local elected officials and community leaders.

“It’s an opportunity for the entire community to come together in celebration of shared values and culture,” said Lifshitz.

The Menorah serves as a symbol of Idaho’s dedication to preserve and encourage the rights and liberty of its citizens to worship God freely, openly and with pride, Lifshitz said.

“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,” he added.

Chabad Lubavitch also held a menorah lighting ceremony in front of the State Capitol building in Boise on Monday. It and the Ketchum lighting are among thousands of large public Menorah displays and lightings sponsored by Chabad throughout the world.

Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, began on Sunday. It recalls the victory more than 2,100 years ago of a small group of Jewish people who defeated the ruthless Syrian Greeks who had overrun their nation, prohibiting their religious freedoms and forcing them to accept a foreign religion. During that time the Syrians desecrated and defiled the oils prepared for the lighting of the Menorah, which was part of the daily service in the Jewish Temple.

Upon recapturing the Temple, the Jewish people found only one jar of undefiled oil. It should have been enough to burn just one day but it lasted for eight days until new pure olive oil was produced.

Today the Jewish people celebrate Chanukah for eight days by lighting an eight-branch candelabra, which offers the message of hope and religious freedom for all.

The Wood River Jewish Community will celebrate the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness, on Saturday as Chanukah draws to an end.

 

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