“The menorah reminds us that what we do in the face of darkness is we add light.”
Baruch atah Adonoi, Eloiheinu Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu, vihigiyanu, lizman hazeh.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion. What beautiful words.
Last night kicked off the first day of Hanukkah a celebration that last 8 days. The first night participants light the middle candle of the menorah until all eight are shining bright by the end of the eighth night.
In Jersey City last night the celebration carried some emotional weight, less than two weeks prior an Anti-Semitic attack took place at the JC Kosher Supermarket.
The attack left three bystanders dead and shocked the multicultural community.
Rabbi Mosche Schapiro helped organize the menorah lighting in front of the market had a hopeful message for all in attendance.
“The first night of Hanukkah at the very place of the shooting, which created so much darkness and negativity, can bring light and positivity. When we celebrate at a time like this, almost two weeks from a terrible shooting, we start thinking about what’s the meaning of the holiday.”
The lighting of the menorah is a vital part of Hanukkah, which celebrates the Jewish Maccabees battle, in which Jerusalem was regained from the Syrians 2,000 years ago.
As Jerusalem rebuilt their temple the menorah was used to cast light in the darkness. There was only enough oil to burn for one night but miraculously lasted for eight.
Shortly after 6:30 p.m. Yoely Greenfeld stood just a few feet away from where his sister Leah Mindel Ferencz was gunned down and lit the center of the menorah.
“My sister Mindy was someone who lit up the world with her smile and her beautiful personality, brightening lives both in Brooklyn and in her new home, Jersey City. As we celebrate Hanukkah may the lives of our candles shine away darkness, easing pains of all those who have suffered.”
Last Night In Jersey City
Happy Hanukkah everyone may your holiday be filled with love, joy, family, and friends!
(Cover photo courtesy of Daily News, 2nd photo Bergan Report, 3rd photo Pulse, 4th photo MSN, video courtesy of YouTube Todays TMJ4 and North Jersey.com, source NY Times)