Residents gathered at Town Hall on Nov. 29 for West Milford Township’s annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony in observance of Chanukah, which is celebrated this year from Nov. 28 through Dec. 6.
Open to all and free of charge, Rabbi Mendy Gurkov of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life facilitated the Menorah Lighting Celebration in West Milford this past Monday.
The rabbi spoke about the origin and meaning of Chanukah, as well as how the messages of hope and light that the Festival of Chanukah brings to mind each year continue to apply to people of the present day, and are needed; and thus, the traditions and messages of hope, light and charity should be shared and celebrated.
Gurkov led the group of gatherers in traditional prayers and melodic blessings, and then invited West Milford Mayor Michele Dale to light the shamash - the center “attendant” flame (or ninth candle of the menorah) from which all of the eight flames are lit - each signifying one day of the miracle eight days/nights - on the giant menorah.
A member of the congregation was then honored to light the flame for the first day of Chanukah and the rabbi lit the second.
The attendees sang a few songs together, and then enjoyed some traditional Chanukah foods including fresh hot latkes with applesauce or sour cream, doughnuts and chocolate gelt.
The crowd celebrated together by the light of the menorah as Chanukah music played in the background.
The children enjoyed the food, crafts, music, and special glasses that were distributed; the 3-D style glasses were said to make the flames of the menorah spin like dreidels.
For more information about Chanukah, visit: https://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/default_cdo/jewish/Hanukkah.htm
For more information about the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, visit: