Chabad of Davis invites local residents to celebrate Hanukkah at the lighting of an 8-foot-tall menorah on Wednesday, the first night of Hanukkah, on the Rotary Stage in Davis’ Central Park. A community celebration will follow. The event runs from 3 to 5 p.m.
Following the lighting ceremony at Fourth and C streets, guests will dance, sing and enjoy Hanukkah delicacies, to the accompaniment of live music. Activities for children are planned.
“The menorah serves as a symbol of Davis’ commitment to encouraging the celebration of all the diverse cultures of its various inhabitants, and to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all of its citizens to worship God freely, openly and with pride,” Rabbi Shmary Brownstein of Chabad said in a news release.
“Specifically in America — 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 — the menorah takes on profound significance, embodying both religious and constitutional principles.”
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, recalls the victory more than 2,100 years ago of a militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people who defeated a ruthless enemy that had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life, prohibit religious freedom and force the Jewish people to accept a foreign religion.
They had enough lamp oil to burn for only one day, but miraculously, it lasted for eight days until new, pure olive oil was produced. In commemoration, the Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabra known as a menorah. The menorah symbolizes the miracle, with its message of hope and religious freedom to all.
For more information about Hanukkah and a local schedule of events, visit www.chabadofdavis.org/Chanukah.