Menorah lights shine bright at Hanukkah celebration in Westport
WESTPORT — Hoping to throw a little light on the concepts of caring and doing good deeds, Beth Israel Synagogue Chabad of Westport-Norwalk hosted a menorah lighting Monday evening by Trader Joe’s to celebrate the second night of Hanukkah.
“Hanukkah is about spreading the message of light,” said Rabbi Levi Stone, who lit the giant menorah in the Compo Acres Shopping Center, a tradition that has gone on for several years now.
Homemade latkes and doughnuts were part of the party offering, along with music, dancing and dreidels.
“Unfortunately we live in a time when sometimes it’s not so light,” Stone said, noting it was all the more reason to turn the other cheek and focus on acts of goodness and kindness.
The eight-day festival began Sunday evening and continues through Dec. 29, with a candle lit each night symbolizing the miracle of a menorah that burned for eight nights during a rededication of a temple. This took place around 200 B.C. following a rebellion in which Jews were ordered to abandon their religion by a Syrian king and forced to worship Greek gods.
“We want our grandchildren to learn a little bit of the heritage of our people,” said attendee Bob Bonick, of Trumbull, adding it’s also a holiday geared toward young people with toys and treats.
“We will never stop spreading light,” Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht said. “We will never stop spreading kindness.”