A vibrant menorah lighting was held at 65 Main Street in Pine Bush on Thursday evening. Many residents came out to partake in this Jewish tradition.
This was the second year a menorah lighting was held in Pine Bush. Rabbi Meir Borenstein of the Chabad of Orange County noted that there are close to 18 outdoor menorahs in Orange County. Borenstein added that he started the menorah lighting as a way to bring light and joy to all residents of Orange County.
“Last year we said you know what let’s try it out,” Borenstein said. “[Residents] have been very welcoming and very supportive of us.”
Crawford Town Supervisor Charles Carnes kicked off the evening by lighting the shamash and the first light. The shamash is the candle used to light all other candles. For being involved in the Chabad Center of Orange County, Sherri Donnell and Sandy Damon lit the next two candles on the menorah. Matt Shirazi lit the fourth light and Crawford Town Clerk Jessica Kempter lit the final light.
The evening was filled with the singing of many Hanukkah songs. Rabbi Borenstein began with a Hanukkah blessing. He went on to sing “Maoz Tzur” in Hebrew. The rabbi later sung two Hanukkah classics “Oh Chanukah” and “I Have a Little Dreidel” in English.
Staples of the holiday were handed out throughout the event. Supervisor Carnes distributed dreidels. Potato pancakes and sufganiyot, round jelly doughnuts, were enjoyed by those in attendance. Children even passed out menorahs so people could celebrate the holiday at home.
To add to the Hanukkah cheer, Zalmen Borenstein danced around in a dreidel costume. This outfit was designed by Bijan Shirazi. Those in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the menorah lighting.
“I think Rabbi Borenstein does a fabulous job,” Kempter said. “I think it’s a great thing for the community.”