Chag sameach! Hanukkah begins with menorah-lighting in St. John's

·1 min read
A large menorah was lit to mark the beginning of Hanukkah in St. John's on Sunday. (CBC - image credit)
A large menorah was lit to mark the beginning of Hanukkah in St. John's on Sunday. (CBC - image credit)
CBC
CBC

Members of Newfoundland and Labrador's Jewish community marked the first night of Hanukkah on Sunday, celebrating a week of food, festivities and family across the province.

In St. John's, the night began with the fifth public lighting of the menorah. Usually held in Bannerman Park, the event was a drive-in event for the second straight year due to COVID-19 concerns.

"It's been quite successful this way, but we'll definitely need a bigger parking lot next year," Rabbi Chanan Chernitsky said before the lighting. "We had 75 cars last year. we're expecting at least 100 this year, probably more."

Hanukkah, which continues until Dec. 6, commemorates the Jewish army's victory and reclamation of Jerusalem and the rededication of the city's holy temple in the second century BC, said Chernitsky.

Sunday's event included messages of positivity and well-being, the lighting of the first candle on a large menorah, food and a fire juggling show.

CBC
CBC

While community member Beth Schwartz said she would prefer the ceremony in the park, it's a great compromise to be able to celebrate the first of Hanukkah with other members of the Jewish community.

"It's really nice to all be here together, and it really feels like a community to have so many people here," she said.

"The best part about Hanukkah is the opportunity for everyone to get together as a family and celebrate around this idea of lights in the darkness. To really be together and be a community and a family together."

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