By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – As a light snow fell, residents and town officials gathered Dec. 21 at the rotary to celebrate the sixth night of Hanukkah with the lighting of a nine-foot public menorah. The annual event is hosted by Chabad of Westborough.
A greeting was offered to those in attendance by Rabbi Michoel Green, who thanked the town’s public safety officers for their support. He also thanked the Rotary Club of Westborough, who annually put up holidays lights on the rotary and in the downtown area.
Green’s wife Dvora then read a letter that had been written in the 1980s that explained the significance of Hanukkah.
George Barrette, chair of the Westborough Board of Selectmen, also addressed the audience and thanked Chabad for inviting him to the event. Barrette was accompanied by fellow selectmen Denny Drewry and Tim Dodd. Also in attendance were James Kane, the chair of the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen, and his wife, Hannah and their three children and Shrewsbury resident Jason Palitsch, a government and public affairs specialist for Veterans Inc. Hannah Kane and Palitsch are both running for the state representative spot that will be vacated by Matthew Beaton next month.
Siblings Rebecca and Ben Frogel led the gathering in a traditional song. Green then passed around the “Shamash” (the torch used to light the menorah) so that all “would feel included in the ceremony.” He invited Rebecca and Ben to light five candles on the menorah before Selectman Denny Drewry lit the sixth.
After the lighting, everyone was invited to stay to enjoy some coffee and hot chocolate, which had been donated by Starbucks, as well as some baked goods.
Chabad of Westborough also held a ceremony Dec. 17 in Shrewsbury to commemorate the start of Hanukkah.
Often referred to as the “Festival of the Lights,” in Hebrew the word “hanukkah” means “dedication.” The holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.