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Chanukah Celebration Under 7-Foot Menorah

Local Jews celebrate the season in a ceremony near the lake.

Article submitted by Chabad Jewish Center of Rancho Santa Margarita

A mega-block Menorah standing close to 7 feet tall was the centerpiece feature at Chabad Jewish Center of Rancho Santa Margarita's  annual community Chanukah celebration on Monday.

The Dec. 10 event in the plaza at the Mercado Del Lago shopping center brought together adults and children of the Rancho Santa Margarita and Trabuco Canyon communities—and beyond—for an evening of fun, friendship and festivities.

Celebrants enjoyed hot latkes kindly sponsored by Trader Joes, cocoa, chocolate gelt kindly sponsored by Albertson’s and children’s activities ranging from face painting, dreidel-cookie decorating, and crafts, to a guess-how-many-dreidels-are-in-the-large-dreidel contest—courtesy of Jewish RSM’s Chabad Kids’ Club and Mommy and Me.

Honorary guests included RSM City Councilmember Jesse Petrilla who addressed the crowd and lit the shamash, as well as local community member, Scott Sandler, an engineer who guided his crew of young builders and thus miraculously brought the mega-block menorah from concept to reality.

The Menorah lighting was introduced by a message given by Rabbi Zalman Kantor of Chabad who pointed out the differences in shape and color of the mega-blocks that all together combine under one common goal of shedding light, goodness, and Godliness—In God we trust and E pluribus unum. Each brick is significant to the menorah's stability and beauty, thus reminding us of the indispensability of each individual’s unique God-given gifts and mission to make this world a better place.

Kindled candles in the hands of participants shed a warm glow and lit up the plaza one by one, as the blessings were recited and the menorah’s tiki torches ignited. A festive mood pervaded the evening, with music and dancing, good cheer, and lingering mingling.

The block menorah was removed after the ceremony, the annual Chabad Jewish Center menorah can be seen at Fundadores and Santa Margarita Parkway.

Many thanks to all those who invested time, skill and effort to make this event come together. For more information on other activities visit jewishrsm.com or call 949-264-6930. 

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