From staff reports
To celebrate the 2021 Hanukkah season, Chabad of Greater Hilton Head will be having their first Grand celebration including the lighting of a giant Hanukkah menorah.
At 4:15 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30, Chabad of Greater Hilton Head will light a public 9-foot Hanukkah menorah erected at the Pavillion in the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in downtown Beaufort, followed by a community-wide celebration.
The ceremony, organized by Chabad Rabbi Mendel Hertz, it will be a covid safe event with the menorah lighting ceremony and a few words by Beaufort Mayor Stephen Murray, followed by a celebration with live music, singing, entertainment and traditional Hanukkah foods. This event is open to the public.
“The menorah serves as a symbol of Beaufort’s dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship God freely, openly, and with pride. This is true especially 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,” said Rabbi Hertz.
The Menorah lighting is part of the worldwide Hanukkah campaign, an initiative launched by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, in 1973. The campaign highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday — publicizing the story of the Hanukkah miracle.
“The message of Hanukkah is the message of light,” added Rabbi Hertz. “The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness and hastens the coming of Moshiach. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.”
Today, the unprecedented public display of Hanukkah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever altering the American practice and awareness of the festival.
Beaufort County’s menorah is one of more than 15,000 large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower, and the Kremlin, helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message.
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins this year on the evening of Sunday, Nov 28 and concludes Monday, Dec. 6. It recalls the victory of a militarily weak Jewish people, who defeated the Syrian Greeks who had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life and prohibit religious freedom.
They also desecrated and defiled the Temple and the oils prepared for the lighting of the menorah, which was part of the daily service. Upon recapturing the Temple, only one jar of undefiled oil was found, enough to burn only one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight.
In commemoration, Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabrum known as a menorah. Today, people of all faiths consider the holiday a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.
Above: Chabad of Greater Hilton Head has previously erected and it a 9-foot Menorah in Shelter Cove on Hilton Head Island. Submitted photo.