Rabbi Moshe Bleich told the crowd gathered at the Grand Menorah Lighting at Wellesley Town Hall that the Chanukah story is very old, but also current.
“The truth is the story of Chanukah continues, and it continues with us here tonight, tomorrow, every day,” the Wellesley Weston Chabad leader said, standing in a pickup truck bed with a giant menorah behind him. “We are those people, we are here to light up the world and make the world a better place. It takes each and every one of us to continue our Chanukah story…”
The event took place on Wednesday, the fourth night of the Jewish festival of lights—the Menorah Mobile hit Weston for a similar celebration the night before.
What Bleich hopes will become an annual event included songs in English and Hebrew, jelly doughnuts and light-up menorah necklaces up for grabs, plus the lighting of the grand menorah by local dignitaries. This included Police Chief Jack Pilecki, Fire Chief Rick DeLorie, and Select Board member Beth Sullivan Woods scaling the truck via a combination of a step ladder and chairs in a manner not for the faint of heart that would make Cirque du Soleil performers jealous (the Select Board member did double duty in helping to light the town hall menorah and grabbing a burnt-out bulb that she later planned to run over to Green’s Hardware for replacement).
— swellesley (@swellesley) December 22, 2022
Bleich himself followed the Grand Menorah Lighting by bouncing to the top of a fire engine, where he began tossing miniature menorahs attached to bright orange parachutes into the air, with kids (and maybe an adult or 2) scrambling to catch them. That was followed by a spectacular chocolate gelt drop, with Bleich throwing the shiny prizes high into the dark sky and sparking a frenzy below.
As an attendee said upon her departure: “This is what community is all about.”