Hanukkah lights brighten Bricktown
Light is a symbolic part of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.
Rabbi Ovadia Goldman makes sure this is evident in every aspect of the annual "Bricktown Lights" sponsored by the Chabad Community Center for Jewish Life and Learning.
Goldman, Chabad's spiritual leader, envisioned the event as a community celebration to mark the first night of Hanukkah. The holiday begins at sundown Dec. 22 and ends at sundown Dec. 30.
In 2018, about 400 people gathered for the celebration and the lighting of a giant menorah at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark's Third Base Plaza.
Often called the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah commemorates the victory of a band of Jews, the Maccabees, against Greek-Syrian occupiers in 165 B.C. and the re-dedication of their temple. When the Maccabees reclaimed the temple from their oppressors, they wanted to light the eternal light, known as the N'er Tamid, which is in every Jewish house of worship.According to tradition, once lighted, the oil lamp should never be extinguished, but the Maccabees had only enough oil for one day.During Hanukkah, Jewish families celebrate the miracle that the lamp stayed lighted for eight days with the small amount of oil that remained. The most popular symbol of Hanukkah is the menorah, a type of lamp.The themes of light over darkness and freedom were woven throughout the 2018 Bricktown Hanukkah celebration.
The highlight of the gathering was the lighting of a giant menorah by leaders like Goldman, U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. Guests were treated to latkes, the potato pancakes that are traditionally served during Hanukkah, and hot cocoa. In a surprise for children at the event, members of the Oklahoma City Fire Department climbed up a ladder to toss chocolate coins to the crowd.
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When: Dec. 22.
Where: Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark's Third Base Plaza, 2 Mickey Mantle Drive.
Information: Chabad Community Center for Jewish Life and Learning, 286-0900.