Rabbi Yosef Schtroks

Rabbi Yosef Schtroks speaks to a crowd during the Menorah lighting at Sylvester Park in Olympia in 2017. This year, the Chabad of Olympia Jewish Discovery Center is bringing a Menorah to Yelm.

For the last 10 years, Chabad of Olympia Jewish Center has done a giant menorah lighting at Sylvester Park in Olympia, but this year, the menorah is coming to Yelm.

“For the first time we are putting up a giant menorah in (Yelm) City Park,” said Rabbi Yosef Schtroks. “We will be there the whole week in memory of the Pittsburgh massacre a few weeks ago.”

The message of Chanuka — also spelled “Hanukkah” — is to let in light, Schtroks said. The menorah is a candelabra, essentially, so as people light each of the eight candles on each of the eight nights of Chanuka, they are letting more and more light into the world, especially in times that seem so dark.

“The nature of light is it always dispels darkness,” Schtroks said.

The Chabad Jewish Center in Tumwater wanted to add to the festivities that go on in Yelm City Park by lighting the giant menorah on the second night of Chanuka, he said.

The menorah is 9 feet tall, and because it is the second evening of Chanuka, two candles will be lit, but each night after that another light will be illuminated, using bulbs, until on the eighth night it is fully lit, Schtroks said.

The center is holding an event starting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 in the park.

It’s a free event, and people of all faiths and walks of life are welcome to attend.

Chabad Jewish Center will provide donuts for those with a bit of a sweet tooth and latkes for those that prefer something a little more savory. There will also be chocolate gelt for guests to enjoy. 

Finally, the night will be full of music and dignitaries.

For more information, email rabbi@jewisholympia.com or call Schtroks at 360-867-8804. RSVPs are appreciated.

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