TOMS RIVER – This year, community members came together at the Town Hall courtyard for an official Menorah Lighting in celebration of Hanukkah.
On November 30, Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill along with the Township Council joined the Chabad of Toms River and the TRJCC to light three candles to celebrate the third day of Hanukkah.
The event kicked off with Rabbi Moshe Gourarie of the Chabad Jewish Center telling the meaning behind the holiday.
“Hanukkah is a holiday – unlike many other Jewish traditions and holidays – meant to reach the outside. Most holidays are observed in the home or the respective house of worship, but the tradition of the Hanukkah lights is that we light them at our door or at our windows. The purpose of which is to illuminate the outside,” Gourarie said. “Sometimes there’s darkness in the world, whether it’s literal darkness or figurative darkness. What we try to do it to take the light that we have in our lives and homes, and illuminate the world with that light.
“We have this tradition of taking the Menorah to the outside and lighting it and spreading its light here in Toms River Township to all the residents, whether they are celebrating Hanukkah, their holidays, or just enjoying a Tuesday afternoon,” Gourarie continued.
Hanukkah, also known as the “Festival of Lights,” is eight days long. This year, Hanukkah began on November 28 and continues on until December 6.
“As this light shines brightly, let it remind us of one thing. As we go into the season, we are all members of one family. The holiday season brings us all together,” Hill stated before lighting the Menorah.
Each member of the council lit a torch and passed it to one another, ultimately ending on Hill and together lighting the candles with Gourarie. The Menorah can be viewed downtown in the Town Hall courtyard.