Lehigh ceremony welcomes Hanukkah
For the first time in Lehigh University's history, an outdoor menorah lighting ceremony was conducted at Asa Packer Campus in recognition of Hanukkah. Over 100 people, most of them students with Chabad at Lehigh, celebrated what is also called the "Festival of Lights."
Before three candles were lit atop a 12' high menorah strategically located next to the flagpole at the center of the campus, Rabbi Zalman Greenberg explained why he loves Hanukkah.
"No speeches, no synagogue, no sermons, no fasting. All in all, its just a beautiful holiday," he explained.
As his son Menny, danced by the flagpole, Rabbi Greenberg also related the miracle of this holiday. Some say it is a temple lamp that shined brightly for eight nights though it only had enough oil for one. But to the Rabbi, the real miracle is that a "band of a few Jews" was somehow able to defeat the world power of that time.
Instead of celebrating that victory with a symbol of war or military glory, Greenberg notes that Jews celebrate with a menorah, a "sign of light, a sign of goodness. That is the greatness of the holiday."
Rabbi Yaakov Halperin, who established Lehigh Valley Chabad, was also on hand for the brief lighting ceremony. It was followed by music, doughnuts, latkes and kosher Dunkin' Donuts coffee.