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Giant menorah to light up Genesee County as part of world’s biggest Hanukkah celebration


FLINT TOWNSHIP, MI – Chabad of eastern Michigan in Flint plans to light one of the 15,000 public menorahs around the world, symbolizing the universal message of religious freedom.

Chabad of Eastern Michigan will ignite a public Hanukkah menorah erected at the Shea Automotive Lot, 5135 Linden Road, Flint Township throughout the eight days of Chanukah.

There will be a community-wide celebration at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1, the fourth night of Hanukkah, at the menorah site in the concession lot.

The event will include lighting a 25-foot-high menorah, which includes the trailer it sits on, Rabbi Yisroel Weingarten told MLive-The Flint Journal

The ceremony, hosted by Chabad House Co-Directors Rabbi Yisroel and Shainie Weingarten, will feature prominent dignitaries such as Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein, Genesee County Attorney David Leyton and County Sheriff by Genesee Chris Swanson and other community leaders.

Rabbi Weingarten said the menorah ceremony and lighting have been going on for over 30 years, but this year’s event is unique due to the participation of the aforementioned leaders.

After the lighting ceremony, attendees will enjoy Hanukkah chocolate gelt coins handed out by our honorable dignitaries, sing songs and music, enjoy hot latkes and soup, camaraderie and lots of fun.

“The menorah is a symbol of Flint and the County of Genesee’s dedication to preserving and promoting the right and freedom of all of its citizens to worship God freely, openly and with pride,” said Shainie Weingarten, Co-Director of Chabad House , in a press release.

“This is especially true in America, a nation which was founded and which vigorously protects the right of every person to practice their religion without coercion or persecution,” she said.

The lighting of the Menorah is part of the global Hanukkah Campaign, an initiative launched by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, in memory righteous, in 1973.

The campaign highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday – publicizing the story of the Chanukah miracle.

“The Hanukkah message is a message of light,” Rabbi Yisroel Weingarten added. “The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness. Another act of kindness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.

Today, the unprecedented public Hanukkah exhibit has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever changing American practice and awareness of the festival.

The Flint 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 from all walks of life discover and appreciate the universal message of the holidays.

When the menorah is not in use, it is stored at Lorbec Metals in Flint, where they refinish it, paint it and make sure it is up to par every year, Rabbi Weingarten said.

Across the state of Michigan, Chabad will feature dozens of Hanukkah events and celebrations, including public lightings of the Menorah and Hanukkah festivities.

Chabad of Flint, in cooperation with Ascension Genesys, will celebrate at noon on Monday November 29th and Tuesday November 30th at Midland Mall in Midland.

Chabad of Flint will host a community Chanukah celebration and other communitywide events during the Festival of Lights.

For more information on Chanukah and more details on other local events, feel free to call Chabad House at 810-230-0770.

Hanukkah, the festival of lights, begins this year on the evening of Sunday, November 28 and ends on the evening of Monday, December 6.

It recalls the victory of a militarily weak Jewish people who defeated the Syrian Greeks who invaded ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life and ban 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.

When the Temple was taken over, only one pot of unsullied oil was found, enough to burn for a single day, but it miraculously lasted for eight days.

In commemoration, Jews celebrate Chanukah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabra known as a menorah.

Today, people of all faiths regard the holiday as a symbol and a message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.

Additional information on the Hanukkah holiday is available online here.

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