By Mike Cook
A 6-foot menorah will highlight Chabad of Las Cruces’ 12th annual Light Up Las Cruces Mega Chanukah concert and outdoor menorah lighting.
“We’re bringing light into the city,” said Rabbi Bery Schmukler, co-director of the Alevy Chabad Jewish Center de Las Cruces.
The event will take place from 4.30 p.m. on Sunday, November 28th, in the Plaza de Las Cruces Downtown.
“Everything is free,” he said, and the entire congregation is invited and cordially invited to take part.
The rabbi said he hopes it will be “a fun family event” that also recognizes Jewish pride and awareness of Hanukkah, the festival of lights.
Hanukkah 2021 begins on November 28th and lasts through December 6th.
This year’s festival will be “bigger and better than ever,” said Schmukler, including a menorah twice as high, thanks to a “very substantial grant” from the Jewish Federation of Greater El Paso. The event is also supported by the city of Las Cruces, he said.
“The city really supports us,” said Schmukler, including the city fire brigade and the police.
Another attraction at this year’s event will be gourmet donuts and a variety of latkes, the rabbi said, including pastrami (“the real deal,” Schmuckler said), beet and sweet potato latkes, in addition to the more traditional all-purpose potato latkes .
The event will also include a performance by Jewish soul singer Tali Yess, who will combine the music of his famous father, singer Moshe Yess, with his own Jewish classics and new soul songs, Schmukler said.
The Odd-Lab pyrotechnics will also be part of the event after dark, said Schmukler.
There will be a gel (chocolate coin) from the top of a Las Cruces Fire Department fire truck, the rabbi said, toys for children, a moon bouncy castle (bouncy castle), craft vendors (including a stall selling Hanukkah decorations), food and a construction Dreidel workshop.
“There’s a little bit of everything,” said Schmuckler. “It’s a good start to the holidays, especially for the Jewish community.”
“People can really enjoy themselves,” he said. “This is what the city deserves after such a crazy year and a half.”
“In the second century BC The Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks) who tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs, ”says chabad.org. “Against all odds, a small band of faithful but poorly armed Jews, led by Judah the Maccabees, defeated one of the most powerful armies in the world, drove the Greeks out of the country, recaptured the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to service God. When they tried to light the temple’s menorah (the seven-armed candelabra), they found only a single cruse of olive oil. As if by a miracle, they lit the menorah and the one day oil supply was enough for eight days until new oil could be produced under conditions of ritual purity, ”the website says.
“That’s a nice message,” said Schmukler. Hanukkah has “a lot of meaning that you can apply to your life,” he said. “You start with a small candle. You start small and grow. “
Call 575-524-1330. Visit www.chabadlc.org.