BOCEANSIDE — A crowd of about 300 gathered at the Civic Center Plaza on Dec. 13 to watch the first three candles on a giant menorah be lit by Rabbi Barach Greenberg and Fire Chief Terry Garrison to mark the third day of Hanukkah. Children from the Chabad Jewish Center of Oceanside sang holiday songs and a flame was passed candle to candle through the crowd to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
Once the outdoor menorah was lit, the crowd went inside for food, crafts and music.
A second jellybean-filled menorah was lit inside the Community Room. After Rabbi Greenberg shared some inspirational words about the holiday, 150 pounds of jellybeans in the menorah were released and poured into the hands and goodie bags of children.
“What we’re celebrating is our freedom,” Rabbi Greenberg said. “The fight between good and evil is continuous. Hanukkah symbolizes the victory of goodness and light. The message is universal.”
Greenberg expressed his appreciation that the city has supported the annual Hanukkah celebration by allowing the synagogue to use the plaza and by city officials attending the event.
“We honor all opportunities to honor faith,” Councilman Jack Feller said. “It’s a great opportunity for parents to train their children about what’s right in the world.”
The menorah at the Civic Center Plaza will remain lit every evening from 4 to 10 p.m. through the holidays. An additional light will be illuminated each night through Dec. 18 to mark the eight days of Chanukah.