Friday, December 8, 2023

Menorah Lighting


  On Thursday-7-December the Borough of Bogota held their annual Menorah lighting on the first night of Hanukkah 5784. This took place in front of the Borough Hall, with a Menorah provided by the Chabad House of Teaneck. Under tight security a large crowd in attendance from Bogota, Teaneck and other surrounding communities made this one of the larger first night lighting gathering in Bergen County.
 Those joining in the celebration were treated to Potato Latkes, a variety of donuts, cotton candy along with hot chocolate and coffee. Also, there were a number of rides and games set-up to provide some entertainment until Sunset. 
  When the time arrived for the lighting ceremony to begin Rabbi Ephraim Simon from the Chabad House gave a welcoming message. Rabbi Simon thanked Bogota Mayor Chris Kelemen for again celebrating this first night of Hanukkah in Bogota. Next Bogota Mayor Chris Kelemen welcome their neighbors from Teaneck for being a part of the Holiday celebration. He thanked the Rabbi for sharing this moment, as neighbors together as one.
   Before the lighting ceremony began Rabbi Simon answered the question if such an event was needed this year. His response was that that the important this gathering is necessary now in order to shine the light of hope and peace for citizens of the world.
  To begin the lighting Rabbi Simon gave the honour of lighting the Shamash to Mayor Kelemen. He held the “candle” together in front of the Menorah, then the Bogota Mayor ignited the premier light of the season. Next came the lighting of the first of eight candles that symbolized the eight days of Hanukkah. This honour was given to Dr. Asher Goldstein as he accepted, he the flame to light the first candle after reciting the Prayer for Lighting the Hanukkah candles. Dr. Goldstein said that he was proud to do this for his son now serving in the Israeli Defense Forces.
  Hanukkah is commemoration of the Maccabean rebellion after the fall of King Solomon’s Second Temple in Jerusalem, to the Greeks. After the destruction of the temple only enough oil was found to light a lamp for one night. But the lamp was able to stay lit for eight nights until more candle oil was able to be delivered to the city.
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