SOMERS, N.Y.-Although it was bitter cold outside, with an icy wind whipping across the grounds opposite Bailey Park, a number of people turned up to observe the beginning of Hanukkah by lighting the menorah that stands in front of the Somers Town Hall.

The lighting was overseen by Rabbi Yehuda Heber of Chabad of Yorktown.

“I was very pleasantly surprised at the turnout despite the cold weather,” he said. “It was nice to see that people wanted to come out and join in the warmth of the holiday.”

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Heber gave an impassioned speech commenting on how the lights of the menorah can serve as a spiritual illumination in troubled times. He told the story of the first Hanukkah when a small group of, as he phrased it, “militarily weak, but spiritually strong Jewish people,” defeated the Greek army and drove them from their land, reclaiming the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

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