Mayor John Tory will be lighting an eight-foot Chanukah menorah on Yonge Street, Tuesday night, on the eve of the third day of Chanukah.
Chanukah is a more traditional term for Hanukkah.
On Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m. Tory will be just north of Yonge and Davisville to light the menorah and will be joined by federal mental health and addictions minister Carolyn Bennett, and Toronto-St. Paul’s city councillor Josh Matlow.
The menorah is sponsored by Chabad on the East Side, a Jewish community organization, and Midtown Yonge BIA.
Children will have the chance to scoop up treats and “swag,” the press release reads, in a featured Gelt Drop (a Chanukah tradition where items are dropped from a high place). Menorahs and candles will be given out to participants as well.
“Chanukah emphasizes that each individual has the ability to add light to illuminate the world,” said Rabbi Shmuly Grossbaum, who directs Chabad on the East Side with his wife, Mushkie Grossbaum. “The Mitzvah of lighting the Menorah is to light it at sundown when it’s dark outside, and to do it by a window or doorway. The lesson is clear. We can’t be satisfied with lighting up our own homes, but rather we need to take responsibility for our surroundings and shine or light outward. The menorah teaches us not to be satisfied with our own spiritual growth but to inspire others to fill this world with good deeds.”
This year’s seventh public lighting is of extra significance as Jewish communities internationally are celebrating the “Year of Hakhel”, a once in seven years Jewish tradition, representing gathering and assembling per the biblical texts.
“Unity is what makes a strong community,” said Grossbaum. “Hakhel is a time for us to tune in to this, because together we can accomplish great things.”