Mango Menorah

December 23, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Cairns Jewish community have lit the first candle on the public Hanukkah menorah erected at the Cairns Esplanade.

Mango Menorah

This menorah will be a world first as it will be created using North Queensland mangoes and the Shamash was lit by the city’s Mayor Bob Manning.

Rabbi Ari Rubin said: “The menorah serves as a symbol of North Queensland’s dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship G‑d freely, openly, and with pride. This is true especially in Cairns, Australia was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion free from restraint and persecution. We have chosen to create our Menorah out of mangoes to commemorate the beauty of North Queensland and its fusion with the message of Chanukah.

Rabbi Ari Rubin watches Mayor Bob Manning light the Shamash

The first candle is lit

“I want my kids to grow up with pride in their Jewish heritage and a feeling of equality and self-confidence as Australians,” said Israel Hajbi of Machans Beach.

“Chabad’s Chanukah menorahs are arguably one of the most important developments ever to help my child’s education. I wish they had this where I grew up.”

The Menorah lighting is part of the worldwide Chanukah campaign, an initiative launched by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson in 1973. The campaign highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday — publicizing the story of the Chanukah miracle.

“The message of Chanukah is the message of light,” added Rabbi Rubin. “The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.”

Today, the unprecedented public display of Chanukah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever altering the Australian practice and awareness of the festival. North Queensland’s menorah is one of more than 15,000 large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower, and the Kremlin helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message

Throughout North QLD, Chabad will be presenting several Chanukah events and celebrations including a major event in Townsville and smaller events in Airlie Beach, Mackay, Ingham, Bowen and Ayr

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