Menorah Lighting Attracts Hundreds To Temecula's Duck Pond

The 13th annual lighting of the Menorah at Temecula's Duck Pond is in celebration of Chanukah.

Hundreds of valley residents gathered Sunday evening for the 13th annual lighting of the Menorah at the Temecula Duck Pond.

A special eight-branched Menorah is used to celebrate the miracle of Chanukah. One additional candle is lit each night, until on the eighth night, all eight candles are lit.

“It is a great night for the community to come out and celebrate not only Chanukah, but religious freedom as well," said Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz of Chabad Jewish Center of Temecula.

Chanukah celebrates the victory in 165 BCE of the Macabees, a group dedicated to fighting for the religious freedom of the Jewish people in Israel, against the Greek Assyrians, who had forbidden the open practice of Judaism.

After the victory, the Jews went to rededicate the Temple in Jerusalem, but found only enough sacred oil to burn for one day. However, a miracle occurred and the oil lasted for eight days, until additional oil could be produced.

Menifee resident Lorrie Mason knows the importance of the day not just for Judaism, but all religion.

“The Menorah represents our freedoms of religion and our freedom to openly practice what we believe,’’ Mason said.

Mason also encouraged her grandchildren and daughter-in-law, Colleen Mason, to attend the event.

“My children get to learn about the Jewish faith and the history behind it,’’  Colleen said.

Completing the festivities were light refreshments, dreidels for the children were handed out and entertainment featuring the sounds of Adam Sandler.

For more information on any upcoming Chanukah events, contact Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz of Chabad Jewish Center of Temecula at 951-813-1401 or visit www.jewishtemecula.com.

Ponce de Leon December 10, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Right, because we know there are Taliban fighters around every corner in Temecula, especially at the Duck Pond. Nice stereotype.
Brad December 11, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Pretty ignorant thing to say about a clergyman.....
Galactic Cannibal December 11, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Dude I guarantee if that guy did have a AK47 on his shoulder and wore a long robe ,. He would get national TV and press coverage. An probably have the CIA and FBI come after him. Paranoia and misguided perception is rampant in the USA. Have a Very tranquil day ...dude
Adrian December 11, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I am going to take a stab at this. I read GC's comment as commentary on our society's reactionary nature. Shift the context a bit, and this clergyman's appearance would make him "public enemy number one" in the public's eye. I think GC's point might have been more in line with how ridiculously fast we jump to conclusions and categorize folks based on certain taxonomical indicators, without considering the full picture. I could be wrong.
Adrian December 11, 2012 at 07:53 PM
As a post script, Happy Holidays. I am glad to see the unilateral nature of the duck pond display diminish. I remember when certain interest groups raised a stink when the menorah was included. Personally, I say that axial tilt is the reason for the season ;)


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