‘Spread the light’: Winnipeg Jewish community marks end of Hanukkah with parade – CBC.ca

Posted By on January 1, 2020

Dozens of members of Winnipeg's Jewish community honked their car horns and waved from vehicles on snowy city streets Sunday nightin a parade marking the end of Hanukkah.

Police escorts accompanied about 70 people who took part in the celebration on the final day of the Jewish holiday.

The joyous parade happened in the shadow of what's being investigated as a possible hate crime on Saturday thattargeted Jews south of the border.

"We're celebrating the miracle of the oil and how it burned for eight nights," said Malka Charna Heidingsfeld, 10.

"We're trying to spread the light around the world and push away the darkness."

Some vehicles blared music and had "Happy Chanukah" signs and menorah displays affixed to the top.

"There's something that is unique about Hanukkah as a holiday. It was always done out in public. It was meant to share the message of Hanukkah with the general public," Rabbi Avrohom Altein said on Sunday.

"When you share joy, it's one of the greatest things to feel and today we felt that."

A central message in most Jewish holidaysis how Jews were freed from oppression, Altein said.

When Alexander the Great died, his empire was broken down and the Syrian-Greek arm of that empire was very oppressive toward Jews, he said.

"They wanted them to abandon their heritage, their Torah, the Jewish faith," he said. "They had decreed that anyone who would observe Jewish precepts would be punished by death."

Despite being outnumbered, the Jews persevered, he said.

"They refused to give up, and there's a very important lesson in this, and that is that physical might cannot extinguish the flame of a human soul," Altein said.

Altein acknowledged the stabbing of five people at a rabbi's home north of New York City on Saturday.

It's the latest in a series of violent incidents targeting Jews in the area, including an attack that killed six people at a New Jersey kosher grocery earlier this month and a stabbing near a local synagogue.

In wake of that violence, Altein said the spirit of the Sunday celebration in Winnipeg was also about solidarity.

"It's a message not to be intimidated," he said.

"We have to be on guard and the only way to prevent it is to promote tolerance and kindness and not just to take it for granted."

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'Spread the light': Winnipeg Jewish community marks end of Hanukkah with parade - CBC.ca

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