Kew Gardens locals from all walks of life braved the cold temperatures to participate in a public menorah lighting paying tribute to the Kedoshim who were murdered in Har Nof last month.
Gathered in Wallenberg Square in Queens for “Chanukah in the Park” by Chabad Lubavitch of Kew Gardens, parent were treated to hot coffee, toasty latkes and fresh doughnuts while their children participate in Chanukah arts and crafts, played dreidel and received their own goody bags. The children’s huge smiles where equally matched by their parents when master balloon maker Yossel Serebransky created colorful dreidels and menorahs solely out of balloons, and also entertained the crowd with a unique juggling show.
Rabbi Yitzchok Chayempour lead the children’s rally where the songs of the twelve pesukim could be heard ringing proudly in the streets, while Bochrim invited men into their Mitzva Tank to put on tefillin, followed by everyone giving tzedakah.
The diverse crowd was addressed by Rabbi Shmuel Tuvel who relayed the story of Chanukah, spoke of the Har Nof Kedoshim and also mentioned Raoul Wallenberg a Swedish diplomat, who saved thousands of Jews during the holocaust and who has many dedications worldwide, including the square the lighting took place. With the common thread being Jewish Pride and freedom, the Rabbi encouraged participants to increase in doing good each day and reminded them that a little light dispels a lot of darkness.
The event concluded with the giant menorah lighting and the singing of haneiros halalu, where the crowd united as one formed a circle and danced away to the lively Chanukah music.