Chabad House of Toledo hosts Hanukkah kickoff event

The event was attended by many in our community.

Line for food at Sunday’s event. (Jaden Jefferson)

TOLEDO, Ohio — Sunday evening marked the kickoff of Hanukkah, an 8-day Jewish celebration. Among the many celebrating, the Chabad House of Toledo. Members of the synagogue gathered in the parking lot of the Franklin Park Mall Sunday to ring in the celebration.

There were performances, music, food, and more. Rabbi Yossi Shemtov says Hanukkah is a time to be thankful and celebrate our blessings.

“It’s freezing here! And you know what? We’re determined to celebrate and to remember the blessings that we have. And the whole idea of Hanukkah is that when it’s dark outside, not during the day, when it’s starting to get dark, we push the curtains away from our windows and we light a little candle to spread that message to people walking outside and to remind them that a little bit of light dispels so much darkness,” said Rabbi Shemtov.

The rabbi says that after the last year, there are many reasons to be grateful, including the fact we now have a vaccine to combat COVID-19 and can once again gather with the ones we love.

“Look how, in midst of all this, God gave us a vaccine, God gave us a way to be able to recuperate and protect ourselves. Yes, there really was oppression and depression, and yet, we’re able to take a deep breath and stand up again and continue and flourish,” he added.

Many who attended the event braved the cold, with some watching from the coziness of their cars. Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah, ends in the evening of Monday, December 6th.

The Chabad House will also be hosting a menorah lighting in front of One Government Center Monday at 4:30 p.m.

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