Story by Shelley R. Clapper
Rabbi Brenda Weinberg from Congregation B’nai Torah presided over the Menorah lighting ceremony which took place on Sat., Dec. 24 at sundown, on the lawn of the Greenwood Lake Ambulance Corps.
After Rabbi Weinberg welcomed the assembled crowd she spoke of how besides Hanukkah and Christmas falling on the same date this year, there are also other parallels between the festivals.
“Both festivals celebrate light and our desire to pierce the veil of darkness,” said Rabbi Weinberg.
She expressed her gratitude that in the United States “we are blessed to be able to practice our religious beliefs freely.”
“We must rise up against anyone who would prohibit our religious beliefs,” said Rabbi Weinberg.
Rabbi Weinberg spoke of how Hanukkah is a reminder to stand firm against tyranny, referring to the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greek oppressors in 167 B.C.E. She concluded by saying, “Let’s celebrate our commonality and appreciate our diversity.”
She then lit the first candle on the Menorah to signify the first night of Hanukkah and the crowd enthusiastically joined her in reciting the blessings and the singing of traditional Hanukkah songs.