Hanukkah

Families celebrate the message of Hanukkah in Halifax

Large-scale menorah brightens city for Hanukkah

Rabbi Mendel Feldman lights a large menorah in Grand Parade Square on Monday evening.
Rabbi Mendel Feldman lights a large menorah in Grand Parade Square on Monday evening.   Rebecca Brown

Music played as children danced in front of a large-scale menorah in Grand Parade Square on Monday evening.

Dozens of families gathered to celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish festival of lights.

Rabbi Mendel Feldman of the Chabad Lubavitch Organization said this year is more special than usual because 2015 is an “assembly year” on the Hebrew calendar. An assembly year occurs once every eight years.

“The gathering that takes place this year has tremendous additional meaning. It celebrates the unity and community and continuity. It’s extremely special this year, more than a usual year,” said Feldman.

Feldman says the menorah’s message can be applied to everyone.

“The candelabra carries a very universal message,” said Feldman. “The message is of hope, of freedom of religion. It’s a message of thanksgiving to God for the miracle…that we live in Canada where we can practice religion with pride and dignity.”

Mayor Mike Savage spoke at the event, emphasizing the importance of welcoming various religions and faith groups into the city.

“Halifax is becoming more and more diverse,” said Savage. “We’re really very fortunate in Halifax and Canada that we can have all kinds of people from religions that other parts of the world don’t get along with.”

This year, Hanukkah runs from Dec. 6 to Dec. 14.