Chabad of South Carolina is organizing a public Hanukkah menorah lighting event with massive a 12-foot menorah on the Gervais Street side of the State House, this Monday, December 11 at 6 pm. The event will feature an array of state and community leaders including Governor Henry McMaster, Mayor Daniel Rickerman, Representative Beth Bernstein, Sherriff Leon Lott and special guest Senior Advisor to President Steve Benjamin. There will be hot latkes and doughnuts, traditional Hanukkah foods.
The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, launched the Hanukkah awareness campaign 50 years ago, in 1973–in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in Israel, and in the half-century since the “Festival of Lights” has revitalized widespread observance of Hanukkah and brought it to the mainstream. The Menorah, and indeed Hanukkah–with its universal message of freedom of the human spirit, freedom from tyranny and oppression, and of the ultimate victory of good over evil–has as a result become a part of American culture.
“The Rebbe taught that not only is celebrating Hanukkah a vital part of Jewish life–where it has become a potent point of light and Jewish pride and confidence for American Jews in the fight against darkness and antisemitism–but also represents key American values, namely those of liberty and independence,” said Rabbi Levi Marrus. “The holiday of Hanukkah underscores the fact that American culture has been enriched by the thriving ethnic cultures which contributed very much, each in its own way, to communal life, both materially and spiritually.”