LYNNWOOD, Wash., December 19, 2022—County residents endured the snowy weather to attend Chabad Jewish of Snohomish County’s annual Giant Menorah Lighting ceremony at Lynnwood City Hall on Sunday kicking off Chanukah. The event featured live music by the Seattle based Klez Katz Klezmer band and gift bags containing a Chanukah sufganiyot (a jelly doughnut), chocolate coins, dreidels, and a pamphlet about Chanukah.
Rabbi Berel Paltiel of Chabad Jewish Center of Snohomish County opened the event welcoming everyone and thanking the County for its recent proclamation against antisemitism.
The Snohomish County Council and Executive Dave Somers signed a proclamation on December 1, condemning antisemitism and reaffirming the County’s commitment to nondiscrimination and human rights. The Council affirmed that the Jewish community is an important part of the county’s fabric, with individuals and families at Temple Beth Or and Chabad Jewish Center of Snohomish County contributing to the community in countless ways.
County Executive Somers asked residents at the event to stay strong and continue sharing their light in a world where the darkness of antisemitism has returned.
“Being focal about darkness and hate and antisemitism has become popular again,” Executive Somers said. “But we all know that the thing that drives back darkness is light, and this is the festival of light and the celebration of light.”
Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell and Lynnwood City Council President George Hurst thanked Rabbi Paltiel for continuing the annual tradition of lighting the Menorah at Lynnwood City Hall.
Judah Maccabee was a leader in the Maccabean Revolt who fought for Judean independence, recorded in the Books of Maccabees. Rabbi Paltiel shared that after the Maccabean Revolt that drove the Greeks out of Jerusalem, there was only enough pure oil for only one night to light the Temple’s six-foot Menorah. However, in what is described as a miracle, the light burned for seven additional nights.
He continued that the Maccabees’ faith to light the Menorah was a mitzvah – a command by G-d. This act brought about the miracle of light for eight days.
“As we light the Menorah, listening closely to what the flames have to say, in their beautiful dance, they will remind us of what the Maccabees knew all those years ago, a simple, yet life-changing truth – you matter, your choices matter,” Rabbi Paltiel said. “Even when no one is around to know, it is just one little jug to last just one night or one mitzvah, one act of kindness, is not small at all. In fact, it has infinite power to make beauty, meaning and light to our whole families and communities. All we have to do is to light that candle and miracles happen; miracles to last eight days and beyond.”
The Menorah lighting is part of the worldwide Chanukah campaign, an initiative launched by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, in 1973. The campaign highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday — publicizing the story of the Chanukah miracle.
Lynnwood’s menorah is one of more than 15,000 large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House and the Eiffel Tower, helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message.