Last week, on the fourth day of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores held their annual lighting of the Menorah ceremony at Veteran’s Memorial Park.
William Wilgus, the vice-president of the Chamber, bid the assembled crowd a warm welcome to this warm yearly tradition, held only days after the Chamber lit their huge Christmas tree in the same location.Like Bellmore Patch on Facebook by clicking here.
“Thank you for coming down tonight,’ Wilgus said. “On behalf of the board of directors and all our members, we’d like to wish you a Happy Hanukah and welcome you to our annual Festival of Lights...the traditional lighting of the Menorah. Tonight we will be lighting the fourth light on our beautiful Menorah.”
Among the attendees was Assemblyman David McDonough, R-Merrick, who contrasted the hope of the holiday season with the recent hardships suffered by those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
“Today is the Festival of Lights of the Jewish religion,” McDonough said. “And I just hope there’s a light in all of your hearts for all of those people who were drastically affected by Hurricane Sandy. Remember, when you celebrate this holiday season, just try and help those people in every possible way that you can.”
Legis. David Denenberg, D-Merrick, continued the sentiments expressed by McDonough, saying that Bellmore had only grown stronger as a result of its recent trials.
“Only a few weeks ago, Bellmore was hard-hit...the disaster of Sandy was right in our backyards,” Denenberg said. “But the miracle was everyone working together...we really pulled together. We’re not out of it yet, not by a long stretch, but when we say our blessings, we celebrate the miracle in our time, because we recognize that there are miracles every day.”
Afterwards, Rabbi Howard Hoffman of Temple Beth-El of Bellmore spoke of the significance of the Festival of Lights not only to those of the Jewish faith, but the community as a whole.
“Hanukkah is about the triumph of the spirit,” Hoffman said. “That spirit has never left the Jewish people. It emerges in times of trouble and persecution, and it continues to be with us today. We are here today to celebrate that spirit with our children and the members of the Bellmore community, both Jewish and non-Jewish.”
Amy Pearlman was one of the many local residents who attended the Menorah lighting ceremony.
“It’s lovely that we, as neighbors, can gather together here and celebrate Hanukkah as a community,” she said. “Even though there’s a chill in the air, we can sing and make merry and celebrate the Festival of Lights together.”MORE HOLIDAY NEWS
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