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Menorah to be lit up in downtown Kelowna tonight on 1st night of Hanukkah

Members of Kelowna’s Jewish community and several others will descend on downtown Kelowna this evening.

They’ll gather to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah by lighting a large menorah in Stuart Park, which has become an annual tradition in the Central Okanagan.

Well over 100 people are expected to be in attendance and that crowd will include Mayor Tom Dyas and potentially some city councillors.

The event will take place between 4:30-5:30 pm and feature music by the Zamboni Band, traditional donuts and latkes, and a special Hanukkah necklace for children while supplies last.

<who>Photo Credit: Chabad Okanagan

“When confronted with hatred, the public menorah is more important than ever,” said Rabbi Shmuly Hecht of Chabad Okanagan.

“We can have no better response to negativity we encounter than to proudly gather together, in even greater numbers than before, and celebrate the light of the menorah in public.”

Hecht says the annual Kelowna event highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday, publicizing the story of the Hanukkah miracle and victory of light over darkness.

The menorah in Stuart Park will face the street, which Hecht says, citing the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, is so bypassers can feel the effect of the light as it illuminates the outside and the environment.

<who>Photo Credit: Chabad Okanagan/Facebook

“Hanukkah emphasizes that each and every individual has the unique power to illuminate the entire world. It reminds us too that illumination begins at home with ourselves and our own families,” noted Hecht.

“The responsibility comes not only when it is simple or easy, but when it seems most difficult. Indeed, the lights of the Hanukkah menorah are kindled when the sun has set and darkness covers the earth. That’s when the light and energy of a candle has the greatest impact.”

If you’re unfamiliar with Hanukkah, each night will see one more candle than the night before until the menorah is fully lit with eight candles, nine if you include the shamash candle, on the final night.

The eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, will begin on Thursday evening and wrap up as night falls on Friday, Dec. 15, with the final candles being lit on Thursday, Dec. 14.



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