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Bellaire celebrates Hanukkah’s message of hope at city’s first menorah lighting

Friday, 23 December, 2011 - 2:19 pm

SOURCE: Bellaire Examiner + Photos



test4Bellaire celebrates Hanukkah’s message of hope at city’s first menorah lighting

Rabbi Yossi Zaklikovsky places a lamp on the menorah on display at Loftin Park in Bellaire. Thursday night was the first-ever public Menorah lighting in Bellaire.

History was made in Bellaire Town Square Thursday night as around 80 people, most of them members of the Jewish community, gathered on the third night of Hanukkah for Bellaire's first-ever menorah lighting. The lighting was organized by Rabbi Yossi Zaklikofsky, who founded and leads the Shul of Bellaire, a center for Jewish education and spirituality, which celebrates its first year of existence this month.

Rabbi Zaklikovsky recounted the story of Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights, which commemorates the victory of the small military forces of the Maccabees over the giant Greek army, which had occupied Jerusalem and defiled and desecrated the Holy Temple there. The only thing that hadn't been desecrated was a single jug that held enough oil to burn one day. Miraculously, it burned for eight days and nights.

"The message of Hanukkah, as we are told year after year, is that there is that one spark inside us that can never be defiled," Zaklikovsky told the crowd. "The Jew inside of us, that one pure jug of oil, will never be defiled."

Outgoing Mayor Cindy Siegel and her successor, Mayor Pro Tem Phil Nauert, were in attendance, as were Councilmen Andrew Friedberg, Roman Reed and Jim Avioli.

For Friedberg, the lighting was a personal affair. As a Jew living in Bellaire, he said, he was proud to see the menorah included in the local holiday display.

Siegel said the Hanukkah message and the menorah is one that people of all faiths can appreciate. "The menorah is a symbol of faith, it is a symbol of hope, not just for those of us who are members of the Jewish community, but also for those of us who are not," Siegel said.



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