Chabad TORCH (Torah Outreach in Rural California) erected and lit the first Chanuka Menorah ever to be displayed on public property in Patterson at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 27, a Wednesday, in North Park.
Chabad TORCH travels throughout the state of California to host Jewish events; this year’s Menorah lighting marked the first night of Chanuka.
Rabbi Simcha Moishe Kreindler of Chabad TORCH said the significance of the holiday and the Jewish calendar follows the lunar cycle.
“By Divine Providence, the national holiday of Thanksgiving coincided with the first day of Chanuka,” Kreindler said. “This is a phenomenon which last occurred in 1918 and will not happen again until 2070.”
Chabad TORCH is part of the Chabad Lubavitch organization, a Jewish movement that began 250 years ago. Today 4,000 full-time emissary families in over 80 countries direct more than 3,300 institutions — and a workforce of over 10,000 people — dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish people and humanity worldwide.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, leader of the Chabad movement, explains there is a deep connection between these two celebrations. Thanksgiving was founded by the country’s forefathers in gratitude to the Creator for bringing them safely to a new land, where they could worship him and live in freedom.
On Chanuka, the Jewish community commemorates a similar liberation. History chronicles the Assyrian-Greek Empire that had conquered the Land of Israel (the Jewish Empire) during the 2nd century BC. A small battalion of Jewish people overthrew the oppressive rule, restoring religious freedom. The Jewish citizens re-entered their Temple, which had been defiled by the Greeks, and re-lit their Menorah, an eternal symbol of thanks to God.
Chabad TORCH worked alongside Chabad of Stockton to put on the event and will be hosting public Menorah lighting events in five more locations throughout California.
For information: Rabbi & Mrs. Simcha Moishe Kreindler of Chabad TORCH, firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-467-.913