By Rabbi Moishe Kievman Chabad Chayil
November 25, 2021
Chanukah, which is known as the Festival of Lights, begins this year on the evening of Sunday, November 28th, 2021
Sandwiched between Thanksgiving and Chanukah, we have a day that will be the cream of the cookie! Allow me to explain.
Thanksgiving is all about thanking God for all of the things he’s constantly blessing us with. Chanukah is known for the miracle of the Menorah that took place in the Temple, but the holiday was called Chanukah from the word Chanukat Habayit (lit Dedication of House), because it was the rededication of the Temple, after being occupied by the Greeks. Chanukah also comes from the word Chinuch, which means education. During this holiday we are supposed to gather our families together and educate our children and ourselves, about the miracles done for us on a constant basis. Together with recalling the original Chanukah miracles, we remind our families about the personal family stories that we each have, that brought us to where we are today.
It’s by no coincidence then, that the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Chabad Educational Center is scheduled for Sunday, November 28th, sandwiched by Thanksgiving & Chanukah!
Chanukah (Hanukkah or Hanuka), which is known as the Festival of Lights, begins this year on the evening of Sunday, November 28th, 2021 and concludes the evening of Monday, December 6th. It recalls the victory of a militarily weak Jewish people who defeated the Syrian Greeks who had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life and prohibit religious freedom. They also desecrated and defiled the Temple and the oils prepared for the lighting of the Menorah, which was part of the daily service. Upon recapturing the Temple only one jar of undefiled oil was found, enough to burn only one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight. In commemoration, Jews celebrate Chanukah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabrum known as a Menorah. Today, people of all faiths consider the holiday a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness. Additional information about the holiday is available at: https://www.chabadchayil.org/holidays/default_cdo/jewish/holidays.htm
This year’s Menorah lighting is done with the recognition of the crucial need for a message of hope during a time that is so difficult for so many. The Menorah serves as a symbol of light and hope for us today amidst the challenges of the Pandemic, as it did for generations before us. The flames of the Menorah shine out into the night, reminding us that even when confronted with much darkness, a tiny light can dispel it all. An additional act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all of the difference.
Uniquely, at the core of Chanuka’s observance is sharing the light with others who may not be experiencing it. What better time or place to celebrate, than at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Chabad Educational Center in North Dade? The free family-friendly event will begin at 2:30 p.m. with an Obstacle Course, Laser Tag, Bounce House and other fun activities, with the groundbreaking taking place at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Menorah Lighting and free fresh donuts at 5:30 p.m. There will also be a food court, holiday boutique with music and lots of surprises throughout the day. As a family man who is deeply involved in the community, I must say that there is no better way to spend that Sunday. Adults and children alike, are welcomed to join the many dignitaries and community leaders for an enjoyable and a meaningfully fun time for everyone.
To ensure everyone is safe, the day’s events will all take place outdoors, with enough room for participants to be socially distanced. The event will also be broadcast live via: JewishFlorida.news so that anyone who can’t make it to the actual event, can still share in the celebration from the safety of their home.
This year, Chabad-organized Menorah parades will see over 7,000 Chanukah Menorah-topped cars hit the road, bringing the Chanukah message of hope and joy through the city and into residential neighborhoods, allowing families to safely share the joy and light of Chanukah with pride. Chabad centers worldwide have prepared over 32 million Chanukah candles, more than 700,000 Menorah kits and 2.5 million holiday guides in 17 languages.
Throughout the State of Florida, Chabad will be organizing scores of giant menorah displays of all sorts, including a grand celebration with the Miami Heat at the FTX Arena on December 1st (Tickets available at https://www.chabadchayil.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/5313668/jewish/JHN-HEAT-Game.htm ).
To find a local event here in Florida, or anywhere throughout the world, visit the international Chanukah event directory at: https://www.chabadchayil.org/holidays/chanukah/default_cdo/jewish/Hanukkah.htm
Large display Menorahs are available at many online sources and can still get to you in time for the holiday. If you need a Menorah, candles for yourself, or need any help celebrating the holiday or finding a large Menorah to display at your place of work, please call your local Chabad or my office at: (305) 770-1919. We can also help you plan your own Chanukah event, Menorah lighting or Latke party.
We wish you and your family a very happy Chaunkah. May our days be filled with light, warmth, joy, positive energy and always increasing, just like the Menorah lights that increase with each day.
To join us for the annual beautiful Chanukah event or help cover the cost, call: (305) 770-1919. Or visit: ChabadChayil.org/fair. To learn about the new Chabad Educational Center or the available dedications, visit: https://www.chabadchayil.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/1461129/jewish/Building-Campaign.htm
About the author:
Rabbi Kievman together with his wife are the ambassadors of The Rebbe to Highland Lakes, Florida. They are the founders of CHAP - an afterschool program for Jewish children in Public Schools and direct Chabad Chayil. He’s the Rabbi at The Family Shul and can be reached at: (305) 770-1919. Or at: rabbi@ChabadChayil.org