WEST ORANGE, NJ - The West Orange Township Menorah was lit at twilight on Dec. 3 in celebration of Hanukkah.
On hand were Mayor Robert Parisi, Council President Sue McCartney, and council members Victor Cirilo and Joe Krakoviak; Jack Sayers and other township employees; Rabbi Mendy Kasovitz and Rabbi Boruch Klar of the Lubavitch Center, along with their spouses and families; and community members. Everyone gathered in front of Town Hall as prayers were spoken and the menorah lit. Rabbi Klar also designed and created the menorah.
Parisi welcomed everyone and said, "When I first became Mayor, Rabbi Kasovitz was the first member of the religious community to reach out to me, and I will never forget that."
Mark Levenson, chairman of the New Jersey-Israel Commission, was also in attendance to help light the menorah. Levenson, a West Orange resident, noted how many years ago there would have been no menorah lit in a town square, and was grateful to see West Orange acknowledge Hanukkah.
Rabbi Kasovitz shared a brief history of Hanukkah, "The Festival of Lights," and the miraculous story of the oil that lasted eight days and nights. The Talmud tells of how one lone vessel of ritual olive oil, sealed by the High Priest, was found in the temple after the Jews recaptured it from the Syrian army. That one vessel lasted a full eight days and nights, the amound of time needed to prepare more. It spoke of faith and trust in God.
While menorahs light a home, the light from the Hanukkah menorah cannot be used. Hanukkah menorahs are placed outside or in windows, so that their light can be shared with the world.