Chabad of Palm Coast will ignite a 6-foot Menorah at European Village at 5 p.m. Nov. 29, an event to be followed by a community-wide celebration on the second night of the eight-day holiday of Chanukah.
The ceremony, organized by Chabad Jewish Center Rabbi Levi Ezagui, will feature Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin and Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly. Hundreds will dance, sing and eat the night away with a live comedy magic show, Train Rides, Face Painting, Petting zoo and much more, whatever their denomination.
“The menorah serves as a symbol of Palm Coast’s dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship G‑d freely, openly, and with pride,” said Rabbi Levi Ezagui in a release, abbreviating the deity’s name in accordance with Jewish custom. “This is true especially in America, a nation that was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion free from restraint and persecution.”
Chanukah–the word means “dedication,” and is also spelled Hanukkah–is the annual, Jewish festival of lights, each night marked by the lighting of one of the menorah’s eight lights. See the fuller video explanation below.
“I want my kids to grow up with pride in their Jewish heritage and a feeling of equality and self-confidence as Americans” said a congregant at Chabad who is looking forward to attending the public menorah lighting. “Chabad Lubavitch’s Hanukkah menorahs are arguably one of the most important developments ever to help my child’s education. I wish they had this where I grew up.”
The Menorah lighting is part of the worldwide Hanukkah campaign, an initiative launched by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, in 1973. The campaign highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday — publicizing the story of the Hanukkah miracle.
“The message of Hanukkah is the message of light,” added Rabbi Levi Ezagui “The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.”
Today, the unprecedented public display of Hanukkah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever altering the American practice and awareness of the festival. Palm Coast’s menorah is one of more than 15,000 large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower, and the Kremlin, helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message
For more information about Hanukkah and a local schedule of events visit Chabadpalmcoast.com