Visible joy was in abundance as about 100 people gathered Wednesday night to celebrate Hanukkah at Parsippany's third annual Municipal Menorah Lighting.
The purpose of the evening was to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights by lighting a huge candelabra in front of Town Hall on Route 46.
Jews of all persuasions—Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and secular—along with members of the Township Council and other Parsippanians came together to remember the long ago miracle of a lamp that had only one day's worth of oil yet stayed lit for eight nights. That miracle gave hope to the ancient Maccabees, enabling them to achieve a victory in battle over their Greek-Syrian oppressors.
Today, that miracle and the lights on the Hanukkah menorah give hope to Jews and allies throughout the world.
The occasion, organized by the Office of the Mayor and the Chabad Center of Northwest New Jersey, was marked with music, dancing and revelry outside and inside the municipal building.
First, for the fifth night of Hanukkah, Councilman Jonathan Nelson, with assistance from Chabad Rabbi Mordechai Baumgartner and Mayor James Barberio, lit the menorah to the delight of all in attendance. After the candelabra was illuminated, many danced with wild abandon in the chilly night air.
Everyone then moved inside Town Hall, where they heard inspirational words on the holiday from Rabbi Baumgartner, Temple Shaya Ahavat Torah's Rabbi Shalom D. Lubin and Rabbi Asher Herson, regional director of the Chabad Center.
Attendees also heard music, courtesy of the Children's Choir of Congregation Adath Shalom, and enjoyed candy gelt (coins), potato latkes and sufgaiyot (jelly doughnuts).