MADISON, NJ - While December is a time to celebrate Christmas and New Year's, it is also a time to celebrate Hanukkah. And on December 22nd, the first day of this Jewish holiday begun in Madison, across the street from the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building, at the Madison Train Station, as it did all over Morris County and the world.
"I’m honored to be here as we light the first candle of the menorah," said Mayor Robert H. Conley. "This is a special time of the year for everyone in Madison as it gives hope to all. Let us all come together as we move forward to another bright day."
The menorah lighting was conducted by the Chabad of SE Morris County, which has been doing so for the past 20 years. The Chabad was first founded in Madison back in 1999.
"With all that’s going on in the world, all the craziness and unfortunate events, it’s important to remember we have the ability to increase and act in good and kindness," said Rabbi Mendy Lubin, whose brother Rabbi Shalom Lubin is the director of the Chabad of SE Morris County. “And by us remembering the message of Hanukkah, this world will be brighter for all of humanity.”
Hanukkah is a Jewish Festival that is meant to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire, from 167-160 B.C. It is also known as the Festival of Lights.
“We always have a wonderful turnout for this beautiful tradition,” said Rabbi Shalom Lubin. “The menorah is a symbol of light in this world of darkness. If we all come together and do our part to lighten the world around us, that would be truly amazing.”
As the story goes during the holiday, there was once a one-day supply of lamb's oil for the Temple Menorah. Yet, this small amount lasted for eight days. Therefore, each day another candle is lit on the candelabrum until the end of the eighth day. There is also the ninth (middle) candle stick, known as the "Shamash," which is used to light all the other eight candles.
During this menorah lighting, over 80 people attended, cheering as the candles were lit as Rabbi Lubin and all folk chant Hebrew songs and prayers. Not to mention, everyone got to feast on traditional Jewish food that are eaten during Hanukkah inside the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building, such as potato pancakes known as "latkes," served with applesauce or sour cream, and jelly doughnuts known as "sufganiot."
“This is a proud moment for Rose City,” said Patrolman James Cavezza. “The community getting together is all we need.”
The menorah lighting was sponsored by Chabad of SE Morris County. To learn more about them, visit their website at https://www.chabadcares.com/.