WESTBOROUGH – The Chabad Center and Congregation B’nai Shalom joined Jewish congregations around the world in marking the first night of Hanukkah on Sunday, Dec. 18.
The Chabad Center on South Street lit a menorah on the Rotary about one hour before sundown. They held a celebration afterward at the center.
At Congregation B’nai Shalom on East Main Street, about 200 people attended an outdoor celebration that included doughnuts, hot chocolate and fire pits.
There was also plenty of live music in front of the big menorah, including Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz who took part in a rap retelling of the Hanukkah story.
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century B.C., after the Maccabees drove out their Greek-Syrian oppressors. After the temple was cleansed after it had been used as a temple to the Greek god Zeus, and it was time to light the menorah, they found enough oil for only one night. The oil lasted eight nights – enough time to make a fresh supply of oil.
This year, Hanukkah (which means “dedication” in Hebrew) will be celebrated until the evening of Monday, Dec. 26.
The event included appearances from state Sen. Michael Moore and state Rep.-elect Kate Donaghue.
This marks just two of the Hanukkah celebrations taking place across the region this year. In Northborough, the Community Affairs Committee will be holding a menorah lighting on Dec. 25 at 5 p.m. on Blake Street.
‘Light Up Northborough’ will include first annual menorah lighting, Dec. 4