CHABAD JEWISH CENTRE OF BARRIE
Chabad Jewish Centre of Barrie will ignite a public four-foot Hanukkah menorah at Manticore Books in downtown Orillia, 103 Mississaga St. E., followed by a community-wide celebration on Saturday, Dec. 28, the seventh night of the eight-day holiday, at 7:30 p.m.
The ceremony, organized by Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Mendel Nakkar, will feature holiday foods such as hot Latkes and Donuts along with holiday music and crafts for the kids.
“The menorah serves as a symbol of Orillia's dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship God freely, openly, and with pride," said Rabbi Nakkar.
"This is true especially in Canada, a nation that was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion free from restraint and persecution,” said Rabbi Nakkar.
The Menorah lighting is part of the worldwide Hanukkah campaign, an initiative launched by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, in 1973. The campaign highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday — publicizing the story of the Hanukkah miracle.
“The message of Hanukkah is the message of light,” added Rabbi Nakkar. “The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.”
Today, the unprecedented public display of Hanukkah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever altering the North-American practice and awareness of the festival.
Orillia's menorah is one of more than 15,000 large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower, and the Kremlin helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message.
For more information about Hanukkah and a local schedule of events visit www.JewishBarrie.ca.