Ventnor community celebrates Chanukah

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Ventnor Mayor Mike Bagnell lights the shamash, or attendant candle as Beth Judah Hazzah Jeffrey Myers looks on during a menorah lighting ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 12. Ventnor Mayor Mike Bagnell lights the shamash, or attendant candle as Beth Judah Hazzah Jeffrey Myers looks on during a menorah lighting ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 12.

VENTNOR – The fifth night of Chanukah was celebrated with a menorah lighting ceremony here Wednesday, Dec. 12. Rabbi Aaron Gaber from Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor led the festival of light and song in front of the Ventnor Library and Cultural Art Center.

“Sometimes all it takes is one little candle to get rid of a room full of darkness,” Gaber told the crowd gathered around the menorah. “During this time of the year we light our candles and it chases away all of the darkness and it creates a lot of warmth.”

He said when asked whether Hurricane Sandy was an act of God or nature, he replies, both.

“The storm itself was an act of nature,” Gaber said.

The community coming together to help its neighbors and volunteers from outside the area coming here is the act of God.

“They are all performing acts of God. Helping one another. Each of them is a little candle chasing away the darkness.”

Rabbi Avrohom Rapoport from Chabad at the Shore in Margate told the story of Chanukah, which runs from sundown, Saturday, Dec. 8 to sunset Sunday, Dec. 16.

He said after the Maccabees reclaimed their temple from Syrians in Jerusalem, their oil supply should have lasted only one night but it lasted eight. He said each night an additional candle is lit on the menorah as a symbol of light and a mitzvah or a good deed.

Mayor Mike Bagnell, who was joined at the ceremony by Ventnor Commissioners Theresa Kelly and Frank Sarno, gave his holiday wishes to the crowd and lit the Shamash, or attendant candle used to light the other candles. Hazzan Jeffrey Myers lit the menorah with the help of Rapoport and led the crowd in song. 

Photos by Shaun Smith


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