(Courtesy of Chabad of Hackensack) Since it is quite rare that Chanukah and Thanksgiving fall out so close together, Chabad of Hackensack decided to dedicate their annual menorah celebration to the theme of thanksgiving.
“Chanukah and Thanksgiving have so much in common,” said Rabbi Mendy Kaminker, rabbi of Chabad of Hackensack. “On Thanksgiving we appreciate our freedom and our liberties. Chanukah does just the same. So it just made sense for us to choose the theme of thanksgiving for our Chanukah kick-off celebration.”
To amplify this idea, Micah Kaufman was honored with lighting the menorah.
Just a few days before Chanukah 2019, Micah was walking back from synagogue when he was struck by a car. He was seriously injured. The doctors didn’t have a lot of hope for his survival, and shared their bleak prognosis with the family. Yet the family kept their hopes and prayers. Two years later, Micah is walking and on a journey of healing.
Michael Goldsmith joined Micah in lighting the menorah. He was one of the first COVID patients to be hospitalized at the Hackensack University Medical Center. He was in coma for 22 days and almost died.
He, too, shared his miraculous story.
“We chose Micah and Michael to light the menorah as a reminder for the miracles of God. From the ancient miracles of Chanukah, to the modern miracles, there are always reasons for thanksgiving,” said Rabbi Kaminker.
The annual menorah-lighting ceremony and Chanukah kick-off event featured Chanukah music, a fire show, Chanukah treats and a special kids program. Prior to the lighting, a unique parade of cars with menorahs on top brought Chanukah cheer to the streets of Hackensack.
To learn more about Chanukah, go to www.ChabadHackensack.com/Chanukah.