Brandeis lights up for Hanukkah

Photo/Julian Cardillo '14

Lawrence Sasson '16 lights the menorah.

Several hundred members of the Brandeis community packed into the Shapiro Campus Center on Sunday evening to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.
Barry Lawrence Sasson ’16, who was elected the night’s “Modern Maccabee,” lit the first candle on the community menorah as he stood before his fellow classmates, faculty and staff.
Chabad at Brandeis Rabbi Peretz Chein and his wife, Chanie, explained to the attendees that Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration that commemorates the rededication of Jerusalem’s Holy Temple during the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire.
After the Maccabees’ successful revolt, they purified the temple by lighting a menorah with a one-day supply of sacred oil, which miraculously lasted eight full days. Chanie Chein shared the contemporary message of Hanukkah, “that we each possess a purity that should fuel our courage to light the world around us.”
Before the menorah-lighting, Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel called the community to a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, then quoted Eleanor Roosevelt, who served as a member of the Brandeis faculty, "'It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.'"
“When we hear about all the terrible things in the world, it’s easy to get caught up in cursing the darkness,” Flagel said. “Yet in nearly every religion and tradition there is this concept of lighting lights.
“Whether you light the menorah, hang lights on your Christmas tree, celebrate Diwali or participate in one of the thousand ways of sharing light, it is an act of hope to set lights against the darkness…may you all be the light we want to see in the world.”
After Sasson lit the first candle, community members sang and prayed in Hebrew and lit their own miniature menorahs and then enjoyed an assortment of latkes, jelly doughnuts and Hanukkah gelt.
Chabad at Brandeis hosted the event, which included the participation of Brandeis Hillel and 37 other student groups and clubs.

Categories: General, Student Life

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