This Hanukkah, South Pasadena is seeing a surge in families’ public displays of the holiday and Jewish identity, with many more individuals planning to light their menorahs in visible places, such as their doors or windows. South Pasadena’s public Hanukkah gatherings expect a larger than usual crowd this year in a strong statement of Jewish pride and confidence.
Chabad Jewish Center of South Pasadena is organizing a public Hanukkah menorah lighting event at 721 Fair Oaks Ave (back of the building, behind Kim’s Hapkido) on December 10th at 4 pm. The festival will feature an array of entertainment for all ages, including a Klezmer band, moonbounce, and Hanukkah crafts, as well as hot drinks and a selection of traditional Hanukkah foods.
The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, launched the Hanukkah awareness campaign 50 years ago, in 1973, and in the half-century since the “Festival of Lights” has revitalized widespread observance of Hanukkah and brought it to the mainstream. The Menorah, and indeed Hanukkah—with its universal message of freedom of the human spirit, freedom from tyranny and oppression, and the ultimate victory of good over evil—has, as a result, become a part of American culture.
“The Rebbe taught that not only is celebrating Hanukkah a vital part of Jewish life – where it has become a potent point of light and Jewish pride and confidence for American Jews in the fight against darkness–but also represents key American values, namely those of liberty and independence,” said Rabbi Dovid Harlig. “The holiday of Hanukkah underscores the fact that American culture has been enriched by the thriving ethnic cultures which contributed very much, each in its own way, to communal life, both materially and spiritually.”
- What: Chanukah Festival
- Where: 721 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena (back of the building)
- When: Sunday, Dec 10 4:00 PM
- Admission: FREE
- RSVP: JewishSouthPasadena.com/Chanukah
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins this year on the evening of Thursday, December 7, and concludes on the evening of Friday, December 15. It recalls the victory of a militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people, who defeated the Syrian Greeks who had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life and practice. They desecrated and defiled the Holy Temple and the oil prepared for the lighting of the menorah–part of the daily service. Upon defeating their enemies and recapturing the Temple, only one jar of undefiled oil was found, enough to burn for one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight. In commemoration, Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabrum known as a menorah adding another candle each night. Today, the holiday carries a universal message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness. Additional information about the Hanukkah holiday is available at JewishSouthPasadena.com
ABOUT CHABAD JEWISH CENTER OF SOUTH PASADENA
Chabad Jewish Center of South Pasadena offers Jewish education, outreach, and social service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and affiliations. For more information, visit JewishSouthPasadena.com
CONTACT: Rabbi Dovid Harlig
626.921.6256 | Rabbi@JewishSouthPasadena.com