Hundreds gather in Lynnwood to celebrate start of Hanukkah

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The beginning of Hanukkah was observed Sunday, Dec. 2 by more than 200 people at Lynnwood City Hall, in the 7th Annual Menorah Lighting ceremony.

People from multiple generations sang traditional Jewish songs, such as “Blessings for Menorah Kindling,” “Maoz Tzur, and “Al Hanissim,” along with the all-time favorite, “I Have a Little Dreidel.” Many others enjoyed the offerings of potato latkes, jelly-filled donuts, and chocolate coins.

This is the second year that lively music was provided by the Seattle-based Klez Katz Klezmer Band. The crowd was so enthused by the traditional Jewish songs, many danced and sang with their friends.

Speakers included Lynnwood City Councilmember Christine Frizzell and Lynnwood Police Commander Rodney Cohnheim.

“We have to listen to what the candles are saying,” said Rabbi Berel Paltiel of the Chabad Jewish Center of Snohomish County, “The holiday of Hanukah represents the one spark of goodness, and hope can extinguish much darkness. Hanukah was a victory of few over many. Each Maccabee was a hero, essential to the victory. In today’s times, sadly, we’ve seen the devastating destruction that can be caused by one individual. And such is the power of evil. A thousand times over is the power of light. Of any one of us to transform the entire world to good. This Hanukkah, let us remember the value of one deed, of one mitzvah, of one act of goodness and kindness. A few Maccabees, a little light, can extinguish vast darkness.”

Hanukkah is the annual Jewish Festival of Lights, lasting eight days. Each night, a candle is lit on the Menorah, representing the eight nights a very limited amount of oil lasted miraculously for the Jewish people in fighting the Greek army in 165 BC.

People also celebrate by exchanging gifts, playing with dreidels, singing traditional Hanukkah songs, and eating jelly-filled donuts, latkes (potato cakes), and chocolate gelt (coins).

The Chabad Jewish Center of Snohomish County sponsored the event.

— Story and photos by David Carlos

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