Look Out For The Menorah Cars: May Our Days Be Filled With Light, Warmth And Joy
Rabbi Moishe Kievman - Chabad Chayil
December 22, 2022
You’ve probably seen Menorahs going up all around town. This year you will also see a lot more Car Menorahs, proudly displayed on the roofs of private vehicles throughout Florida and beyond. That’s because Chanukah is coming and the Mitzvah on the holiday of lights is to share the light. What better place to share that, than with those we share the roads 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 Chanukah 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.
Chanukah (pronounced by some who have a hard time with the ch as Hanukkah or Hanuka), begins this year on the evening of Sunday, December 18th, 2022 and concludes 8 days later on the evening of Monday, December 26th, 2022. 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 economic and geopolitical challenges felt throughout the world, 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 the difference.
Uniquely, at the core of Chanukah’s observance is sharing the light with others who may not be experiencing it. Celebrations and Chanukah events of all sorts will be taking place in nearly every city of Florida, mostly organized by local Chabads. Locally we will have a free family-friendly event on Sunday, December 18th, 2022 beginning at 3:00 p.m. with an Obstacle Course, Laser Tag, Bounce House, Pony Rides, a Family Train and other fun activities, followed by the Menorah Lighting, warm words from our politicians and a special holiday show at 5:00 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 broadcasted 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 on Tuesday, December 20th, 2022 a huge concert at Hard Rock and scores of others. To find a local event here in Florida, or anywhere throughout the world, visit Chabad’s international Chanukah Event Directory at: ChabadChayil.org/Chanukah or a Local Directory at: JewishFlorida.news/events.
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 or 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. My favorite are the new LED ones which are available at: https://lightupmenorah.com/shop/menorah?Wfyd3h=858d88c651f2301eaaf134bb176df130 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 beautiful Annual Chanukah Event or to help cover the cost, call: (305) 770-1919. Or visit: https://www.chabadchayil.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/5288501/jewish/Chanukah.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: rabbi@ChabadChayil.org