CHATHAM, NJ - Tuesday night, Dec. 11, marked the fourth night of Hanukah, a Jewish holiday referred to as the "festival of lights" and Chatham Borough held a menorah lighting at the gazebo at Reasoner Park to celebrate.
While the weather was a bit chilly, Rabbi Shalom Lubin, the director of the Chabad of SE Morris County, lit the menorah. The rabbi recited prayers when lighting the candles and children sang “I have a little dreidel.” Mayor Bruce Harris and residents attended the lighting and there were cookies and latkes served, as well.
“The message of Hanukah is the message of light,” Lubin said. “Now that we’re back in the light, we hope and pray that the light of the Hanukah candle can inspire us and inspire others.”
The rabbi has been holding a public menorah lighting for the past five years in Florham Park, Madison, East Hanover and one for the Chathams. While a menorah lighting for the Borough and the Township has been held as a joint event in the past, Lubin said it was nice to have the event held separately this year.
Having a menorah in the park is special because it’s in the center of town and people will be able to see its beauty all week, he said.
“It’s a wonderful symbol of freedom and pride,” he said.
Laura Axler and her children, Jordan and Becca, attended the lighting because they missed the one in Madison earlier in the week. Axler said it was nice to see the menorah in the park and fun celebrating the holiday with other local Jewish families.
She said her children had a great time and Becca even sang “I had a little dreidel.”
“They definitely enjoyed the latkes and the singing,” Axler said.
Helen and Ricardo Landes, of Watchung, who attend Torah study class taught by Lubin, viewed the menorah lighting for the first time in Chatham and really enjoyed it.
“My husband and I love Rabbi Lubin,” she said.