Chabad marks end of Hanukkah with giant menorah lighting

Dec 5, 2013

The lighting of a giant menorah marked the final day of Hanukkah on Wednesday night at Tiger Plaza.

Hosted by Chabad, about 35 people attended this year’s event.

“Chabad is a Jewish organization for Jewish students on campus,” Rabbi Averham Lapine said. “It’s mainly MU students, but everyone is welcome.”

This is the MU Chabad chapter’s second year of hosting a public menorah lighting. The ceremony included blessings by the rabbi, Hanukkah songs, traditional food and even dreidel-shaped glasses.

But this year, lighting the menorah proved rather difficult. The wind was strong, the air was cold and the candles were resistant.

“The weather isn’t exactly conducive to this,” MU senior Jeremy Hershey-Nexon said.

The group eventually found success and cheered when all eight candles of the menorah were lit. The significance behind the lighting reflects Jewish history.

“The menorah symbolizes the miracle of Hanukkah when the original menorah burned for eight days straight, even though there was only enough oil to burn for one day,” Hershey-Nexon said.

The menorah is lit every night of Hanukkah, totaling the eight days the original menorah burned. Most of the celebrations occur each night at the lighting.

“Once it’s dark out and there are stars out, it’s considered the next day in Judaism,” MU junior Adee Levinstein said. “Technically, it’s already the next day.”

Gifts can be exchanged at this time, but is not required. Each family upholds its own Hanukkah traditions.

Chabad has over 3,000 chapters worldwide that sponsor events like the one at MU. Ideally, the MU Chabad chapter would like to make the menorah lighting an annual event.

Amidst their greetings of “Happy Hanukkah,” guests commented that hopefully, next year’s event would be indoors.