DENVILLE, NJ – More than 50 residents of Denville Township met on Bloomfield Avenue to celebrate the fifth day of Hanukkah on Dec. 26.

In the years of 167 to 160 B.C., there was a war known as the Maccabean Revolt against the Selecuid Empire, and the kingdom of Jerusalem won its independence. Since then, this holiday of Jewish tradition, also known as the Festival of Lights, is meant to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in the Holy City.

“The Festival of Lights is a wonderful time of the year,” said Denville Mayor Thomas Andes, who was joined by other members of the governing body, including Council President Douglas Gabel and Councilman Glenn Buie.

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“It never ceases to amaze me to see how many good things go on in our community.”

According to one tale, following the aftermath of one battle, there was only a one-day supply of kosher olive oil for the Temple Menorah, yet to everyone’s surprise, this small amount lasted for eight days. Therefore, it is custom to celebrate Hanukkah for eight days, with another candle being lit every day until all eight sticks are glowing. There is a ninth (and middle) stick on the candelabrum, known as the “Shamash,” which is used to light all other eight candles. As the candles were lit in Denville this year, everyone joined together in Hebrew songs and prayers.

Chabad Jewish Center of Mountain Lakes, Boonton and Denville conducted this year’s menorah lighting and has been doing so in the Denville for more than 10 years.

“We bring light into darkness,” said Rabbi Levi Dubinsky.

“It is our job to bring light into the world. It’s our job to bring a smile to someone’s face. Goodness and kindness could be the things that can make the world a better place. That is the mission to do good things.”

Following the menorah lighting, attendants munched on traditional Jewish holiday food, including potato pancakes known as “latkes,” served with applesauce or sour cream, and jelly doughnuts known as “sufganiot.” Additionally, for the children there were  glow rings, spinning tops and chocolate coins.

“It’s great to be in Denville, the Hub of Morris County, to celebrate Hanukkah,” said James Gannon, Morris County Sheriff, who also joined the celebration.

“Our most important responsibility I think is to ensure that people are in peace.”


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