Chabad Jewish Center of South Dakota holds menorah lighting for the first night of Hanukkah

Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 10:59 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Jewish people, over 2000 years ago, who refused to worship Greek gods in ancient Israel.

In addition to that, Rabbi Mendel Alperowitz says the holiday also serves as a reminder to make the world a better place.

“The universal message of Hanukkah is like those candles in the menorah light, every day we add another candle, another flame, and that’s a lesson for all of us,” said Alperowitz. “Each day, each one of us has to increase in acts of goodness and kindness, making today better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today.”

Having a menorah on display in Sioux Falls shines a light on the Jewish faith to the entire community.

“It’s very meaningful when we can see Jewish Celebration and Jewish pride out in the open, and that’s one of the great things of America, that every single one of us can celebrate our traditions, and our faith comfortably and openly, and proudly as we truly desire,” said Alperowitz

South Dakota has the smallest Jewish population in the country, but that does not stop those who practice the religion from coming together.

“It brings a lot of people together in our community, it’s so small in Sioux Falls and in South Dakota, so we get a chance for our non-Jewish friends to celebrate with us,” said Stephen Rosenthal, a Chabad Jewish Center of South Dakota supporter.

Last year it was difficult for people to come together for the holiday season.

“It’s very special being able to get together in person again, celebrating the holidays means so much more when you can do it one-on-one with others in person,” said Alperowitz.

Those in attendance for the menorah lighting hope to see events like this grow in the future.

“Sioux Falls is a growing community and we will see more Jewish people move here as well and liven up what Jewish experiences we have here as well,” said Rosenthal.

The Chabad Jewish Center will also be sponsoring two menorah displays downtown, outside the Wells Fargo building on Phillips and 9th, and at the plaza at the federal court building on Phillips and 12th.

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