First published in the Dec. 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
Chabad of the Crescenta Valley, a Jewish organization based in La Cañada Flintridge, held its first public Chanukah Festival in Memorial Park, where Rabbi Mendy Grossbaum discussed the Festival of Lights and the meaning behind lighting the menorah.
About 200 people from LCF and neighboring cities gathered at the park to help celebrate the week of Chanukah, which began Nov. 28 and ends Dec. 6.
The shamash was lit during the special ceremony to help light the menorah candles, and Grossbaum spoke about the storied tradition and commandment. The way people light the menorah is debated in the Talmud, he explained, but Jewish Law follows that the number of candles lit correspond to the night of Chanukah being celebrated.
“The reason for this is, that when it comes to matters of holiness and spirituality, one must always grow,” he told the crowd.
“The message of Chanukah is that no matter how much we have done, and how much good we have already accomplished in our lives, we must never be satisfied. We must always grow with lighting just one more candle — one more act of kindness, one more good deed — we can never get complacent. And together, with all of our many flames, we can make the world a much brighter place.”
The festival offered plenty of fun for children, including crafts, donut decorating, face painting and a live performance by Allyance Entertainment’s LED Super Bot, as well as the latkes and jelly donuts that are part of the Chanukah tradition.
To learn more about Chabad of the Crescenta Valley, visit Cvchabad.org.