Public menorah lighting ceremonies to illuminate Hanukkah

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:39

Thirteen public menorah lighting ceremonies will illuminate the greater communities of Northwest New Jersey during the coming Hanukkah holiday. A host of other programs, including ceremonies and celebrations in local nursing homes and senior centers, will also take place. Hanukkah begins at sunset on Tuesday, Dec. 20 and runs through Wednesday, Dec. 28. Ceremonies will include music, hot potato latkes, donuts, Hanukkah gelt, dreidels and other holiday treats. "The lessons of Hanukkah give powerful insight into handling daily challenges of every day life. When you see darkness — shed light, because just a little light will dispel much darkness. Acts of kindness, joy, pleasant dispositions or an assuring word or smile are G-dly conduits which can give us the inner strength to conquer adverse circumstances. As in the story of Hanukkah, it all starts with one light," said Rabbi Mordechai Baumgarten, Program Director of the Chabad Center of Northwest NJ. The story of Hanukkah took place in Israel, in the year 139 B.C.E. Israel was then dominated by the Syrian-Greeks who sought to destroy those who observed Judaism. Hanukkah's celebration commemorates the resolve of the Macabees, a brave group of men and women, who fought back against their oppressors. After experiencing a miraculous victory, the Macabees proceeded to rededicate the Holy Temple (which stood on Jerusalem's Temple Mount) which had been ransacked. As they sought to kindle the Menorah, a daily part of the service in the Holy Temple, they found just one cruise of pure oil, sufficient only for one day's lighting. It would take eight days to obtain more. A miracle occurred and the one day supply of oil lasted for eight days. The miracles they had witnessed left the people with an indelible message of hope and inspiration. It taught them that good will ultimately prevail over evil and that the darkest periods of life will ultimately be transformed into light. This message has continued to inspire throughout the ages, till this very day. All Menorah lighting Ceremonies are open to the entire community and all are encouraged to attend. For further information, a Hanukkah guide, a complimentary Menorah and a full listing of Hanukkah events, call 973 625-1525 x202 and visit for the Chabad Center's Hanukkah Web site. Public Menorah lighting schedule Chabad Center of Northwest New Jersey First Night Tuesday, Dec. 20 Picatinny Arsenal The Gazebo (near Cannon Gates), 4 p.m. Denville Main Street Bus Terminal, Denville, 5 p.m. Rockaway Boro The Occasion Gift Shop, 30 W. Main Street, 5:30 p.m. Sparta, Sparta Plaza 191 Woodport Road, Sparta, 6 p.m. Second Night Wednesday, Dec. 21 Dover, Municipal Building 37 N. Sussex Street, Dover 5 p.m. Mountain Lakes Kaufman Park Boulevard & Briarcliff Roads, Mountain Lakes 6 p.m. Chester Gazebo Park, Main Street, Chester, 6:30 P.m. Parsippany, Municipal Building, 1001 Parsippany Blvd, , 7 p.m. Third Night Thursday, Dec. 22 Hanukkah at the mall, Rockaway Townsquare, 6 p.m. Seventh Night Monday, Dec. 26 Hanukkah at Giggles, 350 Rt. 46 East, Rockaway, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Menorah lighting at 4 p.m. Admission required.) White Meadow Lake White Meadow Lake Clubhouse, 100 White Meadow Road, Rockaway, 6:30 p.m. Eighth Night Tuesday, Dec. 27 Rockaway Twp. Municipal Building, 65 Mount Hope Road, Rockaway, 7:30 p.m.