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Archive for Monday, December 22, 2008

Menorah lighting heralds Hanukkah

A cold, dark night in Lawrence is a little brighter with the celebration of the Festival of Lights.

December 22, 2008

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Menorah lit on first night of Hanukkah

Zalman Tiechtel, rabbi and executive director of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, says the message of Hanukkah is universal. Enlarge video

Leni Salkind lights a giant menorah outside the South Park Recreation Center on the first night of Hanukkah. In back is Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel of the KU Chabad Center for Jewish Life.

Leni Salkind lights a giant menorah outside the South Park Recreation Center on the first night of Hanukkah. In back is Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel of the KU Chabad Center for Jewish Life.

A bitterly cold, dark Sunday night was a little brighter with the help of a 6-foot-tall menorah during the celebration of the first night of Hanukkah. KU’s Chabad Center for Jewish Life kicked off the holiday with latkes, gifts, balloon animals and, of course, lighting the first candle of the menorah.

“I think even though Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday, the message of Hanukkah is so universal,” said Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel, executive director at the Chabad Center.

Tiechtel said that the celebration of lights gives the community a perfect opportunity to join together in a world that can sometimes seem rather dim.

“Our goal tonight is really to ignite a flame of light and kindness that says regardless of how much darkness there is in the world and how much troubles and sorrow, we can unite together,” said Tiechtel.

“One little candle can dispell miles and miles of darkness.”

Charles Goldberg, a KU senior from Chicago, appreciated the opportunity to celebrate with others at the South Park Recreation Center, 1141 Mass.

“When it’s dark and cold, this is something important to remember,” said Goldberg.

“There are many miracles that we’re celebrating and it’s a family time. As a college student, you don’t always have your family with you. The Chabad is a really excellent organization that provides a home-type feeling for students away from home.”

Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin was on hand to ignite the flame of the lighting torch. Kansas Sen. Marci Francisco also attended. This year marked the Chabad’s third annual ceremonial lighting, and it was dedicated to the memory of the victims of the recent terror attacks in Mumbai, India.

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 12 months ago

I would like to see a section of South Park set aside for every faith to have a symbol and put up a sign explaining it. Learning about others is a good thing. As a Catholic I have heard so many truly ignorant remarks about my faith by people who just don't care what they are saying. No, we do not worship Mary! I am proud that the Hanukkah was put up. It is about when they returned to the temple and it was cold and dark, and they had little oil, some wanted to give up. But one of them lit the oil they had, and it burned bright. Now is a bad time for this country and we were giving up until we had Obama and now there is a new hope for the country. No, I do not equate Obama with Jesus or God! I simply think he is a wonderful man who is calm, intelligent, resourceful, and best of all willing to use information that is useful, even from people he might not always agree with.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 12 months ago

I would like to see a section of South Park set aside for every faith to have a symbol and put up a sign explaining it. Learning about others is a good---no. if government starts down that path, everybody suffers. our country should continue to allow displays by the faiths important to our american heritage, and the Menorah (not lighting the hannukkah!) is as important to our heritage as is the nativity. ***this is a positive story, and article. very sad how some have to turn it to their petty squabbling. welcome Rabbi, and I'm delighted this recognition was held, though I am not Jewish. 'gallina and 'invictus' are two sides of one coin.

flux 5 years, 12 months ago

I made my comment just to see if anyone would bite and no one really did......thats concerning.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 12 months ago

If someone could prove that the KKK is a faith then they would have a right to a symbol. But they are not, they are simply a gang. As for burning the cross, that would break the rule against not offending another faith in displaying yours, and it would be a fire violation. The government would have nothing to do with it. It would be a citizens initiative.

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