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'Festival of lights' a celebration for all in Monroeville on Dec. 13

| Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, 2:06 p.m.
Rabbi Mendy Schapiro lights a giant menorah carved out of ice during the Chabad Jewish Center of Monroeville's Hanukkah celebration in 2015.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Tribune-Review
Rabbi Mendy Schapiro lights a giant menorah carved out of ice during the Chabad Jewish Center of Monroeville's Hanukkah celebration in 2015.

Chabad Jewish Center of Monroeville will ignite a 12-foot menorah at the Miracle Mile Shopping Center to light up a celebration of Hanukkah for the whole community at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The celebration organized by Chabad Rabbi Mendy Schapiro comes on the second day of the eight-day Jewish “festival of lights” holiday. Following the menorah lighting ceremony, there will be a performance by Gateway Elementary School's fourth-grade chorus, other music, latkes, warm drinks, crafts for kids and traditional Hannukah treats.

“The menorah serves as a symbol of Monroeville's dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship God freely, openly and with pride,” Schapiro said in a release.

The public display of Hanukkah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, he added.

Monroeville's menorah is one of more than 15,000 sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries that are being displayed in public places this holiday season. Menorahs will be lit in front of landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower and the Kremlin, Schapiro said.

“The message of Hanukkah is the message of light,” Schapiro said. “The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.”

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