Story by Kathleen Wilson
Village of Florida revelers braved the bitter cold temps on Thurs., Dec 14, and gathered at Village Hall to celebrate the miracle of Chanukah by lighting the menorah. Rabbi Maeir from Chabad of Orange County in Goshen, NY, led the official ceremony of the lighting of the Village Menorah (donated by the Rosenberg family) with Mayor James Pawliczek, Deputy Mayor Thomas Fuller, Trustee Brian Slattery, Village Clerk Colleen Wierzbicki, and a strong showing of members from the community.
“Chanukah is a very joyous holiday that belongs to all the world!,” said Rabbi Maeir.
The Rabbi followed this exclamation by telling the crowd of onlookers the story of Chanukah and the symbolism of the dreidel.
“Thousands of years ago Greek soldiers prevented the people from practicing religion,” said Maeir.
The children hid in the forests and in caves to study the Torah and if Greek patrols were spotted, the children would put away their scrolls and take out their toys and play a game. The four-sided dreidel (Yiddish for “spinning top”) has four letters that form an acronym which translates to, “A great miracle happened there.”
This great miracle took place when the people rebelled and won and set out to light the menorah in their Temple in celebration. With just enough oil for a single day, they lit the Temples eternal flame and, miraculously, it burned for eight straight days. The miracle of Chanukah reminds everyone that we have the freedom to celebrate religion.
The Village celebration included a warm and joyous welcome from Mayor Pawliczek who said, “It’s a pleasure to be here each year and it’s great to see that our audience has grown every year and we hope to see it continue to grow.”
The Mayor thanked the Rabbi for bringing potato latkes, fried donuts, and beverages for all to enjoy. For those who have ever wondered why these are the traditional foods of Chanukah, the answer is in the oil! Happy Chanukah!