Berkshire Mall Celebrates Hanukkah

December 18, 2006

Author: Benning W. De La Mater

Source: Berkshire Eagle

LANESBOROUGH - Against the backdrop of holiday shoppers and neon advertising, a menorah was lit inside Berkshire Mall last night.

It was a "Menorah of Freedom," about the size of three humans, and organizers said that the public lighting ceremony was an opportunity for the local Jewish community to send a message of peace into the world.

Rabbi Levi Volovik, director of Chabad of the Berkshires, said the theme of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is one that can be embraced by people of all religions.

"We're here to show that one person, one spark, can make a difference in the world ," he said. "It's a universal message."

Hanukkah, which began at sundown Friday night, is an eight-day celebration of a miracle that took place after a small band of Jews defeated an army of Syrian-Greeks more than 2,100 years ago and reclaimed the Jerusalem Temple. When they tried to relight a menorah, they found just one day's worth of oil, yet the menorah burned for eight days.

Today, Jews light menorahs and pray in remembrance. Public menorahs burn beside Christmas trees, the Great Wall of China, the White House and at New York's Ground Zero.