Menorah lighting illuminates faith and hope

Council member Clare Kelly, United States Representative Jan Schakowsky, Mayor Daniel Biss and Rabbi Mendy Weg of Northwest Chabad light up the grand menorah. (Photo by Les Jacobson)

With the three-meter-tall lights of Hannukah arranged behind him, Northwest Chabad Rabbi Mendy Weg on Monday night, November 29, pointed out that the theme of faith and hope implicit in the ancient celebration of the candles lit for eight days applies to modern times as well.

“The real message is that the miracle that a small bottle of oil lasted for eight days – a supply chain story – symbolizes that even though we feel lost, there is always a small bottle of oil to rekindle. our flame, ”he said.

The city’s annual Menorah lighting drew a festive crowd of around 100, including Mayor Daniel Biss, U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky and 1st Ward City Council member Clare Kelly, who each spoke briefly, as well as police and fire officials and a nine-tall man on stilts fitted in a tight-fitting suit swirling with lights in different colors.

Mayor Daniel Biss and US Representative Jan Schakowsky dance the hora (Photo by Les Jacobson)

Biss’s message was both dark and festive. “It’s a day of mourning in Evanston, a difficult day for a holiday of joy,” he said, referring to the shootings just a mile away on Sunday night which left one dead and four injured . all teenagers.

“This is a day when we speak of strength, courage and resilience,” Schakowsky said.

“Evanston is a caring community, a warm community,” Kelly added.

The Jewish holiday of Hannukah, also known as the “Festival of Lights,” celebrates the ancient miracle in which the Jewish freedom fighters known as the Maccabees defeated their enemies and were able to re-dedicate the temple in Jerusalem. The word Hannukah means to consecrate.

According to the website, “In the 2nd century BC. [God]. Against all odds, a small group of loyal but poorly armed Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the most powerful armies on earth, drove the Greeks out of the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and l ‘dedicated again to the service of [God].

“When they sought to light the Temple Menorah (the seven-branched candelabra), they found only one jug of olive oil which had escaped contamination by the Greeks. Miraculously, they lit the menorah, and a day’s supply of oil lasted for eight days, until a new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.

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