BROMSGROVE hosted its first ever public Menorah lighting at the Birdbox in the town centre on Monday.
The event was organised by Rabbi Yehuda Pink, Director of Chabad Lubavitch of Solihull, and Rabbi from Solihull Hebrew Congregation.
They brought together people from the region to celebrate the festival of Chanukah and enjoy some traditional Chanukah food, including delicious doughnuts and potato latkes.
Chanukah is the festival of lights and began on December 7 this year, running until Friday, December 15.
What is Chanukah?
Chanukah recalls the victory the time when the Jewish People living in Israel faced persecution from the Syrian-Greek Empire who refused to let them practice Judaism. They desecrated and defiled the Holy Temple in Jerusalem destroying the Candelabra that had been a focal point of the daily service.
Upon successfully chasing the invaders out of Jerusalem, the temple was rededicated and the Menorah Candelabra rebuilt. Only one jar of pure olive oil was found, enough to burn for one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight.
Today, the holiday carries a universal message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness. Jews celebrate Chanukkah for eight days, lighting an eight-branched candelabrum, known as a Menorah. Another light is added each night throughout the festival until all are lit.
On Monday, Rabbi Pink opened the proceedings with a call to all present to be the candles of the world’s menorah.
To be the light that will shine with tolerance, acceptance, and love for all people, in the coldness and darkness of the night of intolerance.
The event was supported by Bromsgrove District Council and a number of councillors were in attendance, including Coun Rob Hunter, Coun Dr David Nicholl, Coun Josh Robinson, Coun Adrian Kriss and Coun Sam Evans.
Coun Nicholl said: “It was a pleasure to join Rabbi Pink and members of the Jewish community at the first ever menorah lighting in Bromsgrove this evening.
“It is so important at this difficult time to show that we stand for peace with all communities and oppose all forms of intolerance.”
Dinie Pink said “This Chanukah holiday, stronger than ever before, Chabad Lubavitch centers around the world are gathering souls of light, peace and love to join together in a commitment to overcome the axis of intolerance, hatred, and evil.”
The event was one of five public Menorah Lightings organised by Chabad Lubavitch of Solihull and Solihull Hebrew Congregation around the Midlands this year, in Solihull, Coventry, Leamington Spa and Bromsgrove.
Over 150 events have been held around the UK.