A Light unto the World: Chanukah Honors Chabad House
The Chabad-Lubavitch movement is promoting a "Unite the Light" program that encourages Jews to light candles on the Festival of Lights in honor of the Chabad House victims in Mumbai. Muslim terrorists murdered six Jews in the Chabad House, including its Rabbi Gabi Hertzberg and his wife Rivka.
"The tragedy of Mumbai and the siege of the Chabad House have awakened in good people everywhere an impulse to act. The horrible events have provoked a universal outcry and a grassroots desire to affirm the power of good,” said David Sable, who is involved in developing the campaign.
Chanukah celebrates the miraculous triumph of good over evil when plans to eliminate Jews were foiled by the forces of light, to paraphrase a Chabad explanation of the holiday.
The holiday actually celebrates two miracles, one being the victory of a small group of faithful Jews over an overwhelming force of the Syrian-Greek empire that tried to wipe out Jewish life in Israel. After the victory, Jewish priests entered the Holy Temple that the enemies had desecrated and discovered enough pure olive oil to light the menorah for one night, but the oil lasted for eight days.
This year, the eight-day Festival of Lights begins Sunday night, when a 32-foot-tall menorah, one of the world's largest, will be lit near Central Park. The menorah is lit with oil lamps protected from the wind by specially designed glass chimneys. It is gold-colored and weighs two tons.
The central U.S.-based 'Unite the Light' event will be in New York City at the Statue of Liberty on Tuesday, the third night of Chanukah.