BANGOR — Chabad of Bangor will light a 9-foot public Chanukah menorah at Peirce Park on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 5:30 p.m., the third night of the eight-day Festival of Lights. The event will feature a juggler, music, latkes, and donuts. Complimentary Hanukkah menorahs and candles will be distributed as well for participants to light at home.

“Everyone is especially excited about Hanukkah this year,” said Rabbi Wilansky “People are preparing to celebrate with family and friends, to fill their homes with the light of Chanukah, and there’s a palpable joy. The public Chanukah celebration is about sharing this light and joy with the broader community and the entire Northern Maine.”

Chanukah emphasizes that each and every individual has the unique power to illuminate the entire world. It was to encourage this profound idea that the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, launched the Chanukah awareness campaign in 1973, of which Bangor’s public Hanukkah activities are a part of. The menorah faces the street, the Rebbe notes, and so by passers immediately feel “the effect of the light, which illuminates the outside and the environment.” In the half-century since, the Rebbe’s campaign has brought Hanukkah into the mainstream and altered awareness and practice of the festival, returning what some mistakenly dismissed as a minor holiday to its roots as a public proclamation of the triumph of freedom over oppression and a mainstay of Jewish cultural and religious life.

The menorah’s power is especially felt when it is lit with joy and enthusiasm, as it will be this year, with added appreciation for the blessing of being able to gather once again as a community and celebrating together.

A Menorah lighting will also be held at University of Maine in front of the Folger Library on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m.

For more information about Chanukah and a local schedule of events email rabbi@jewishbangor.org.