Chabad of Oregon will light Portland’s Public Chanukah menorah at Pioneer Courthouse Square on the first night of the eight-day holiday at 5:30 pm, Dec. 10. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance is limited to organizers and the media. The public is invited to participate and light their own menorah at home via Zoom.
“This year, the menorah’s message of light and hope is more important than ever,” says Rabbi Moshe Wilhelm of Chabad of Oregon. “Our goal is to increase the points of light as we light the menorah in Pioneer Square in unison with families throughout Portland lighting their own menorah.”
The event will feature the menorah-lighting at the square, a synchronized menorah-lighting in homes throughout Oregon, reading of the winning essay of Oregon’s Chanukah essay contest, and greetings from leaders and elected officials.
This year, the holiday has added significance as so many will be isolated at home on Chanukah amid these difficult times. As the Rebbe – Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory – would often teach, the menorah is a reminder that light can be brought to the darkest of times, and uniquely, at the core of the holiday’s observance is sharing the light with others who may not be experiencing it.
This year has seen illness, death, quarantine, closures and business collapses. In addition, two fires at the Chabad House of SW Portland, which are still under investigation, destroyed Everything Jewish, a primary provider of Chanukah menorahs and candles.
“The dark times we are facing only make the call to bring more light more important,” says Rabbi Wilhelm. “For indeed, a little light dispels much darkness.”
For more information about Chanukah and local events, visit JPortland.com or contact Rabbi Motti Wilhelm at 503-381-7119 or RabbiMotti@ChabadOregon.com.