Community gathers in Newport Beach for menorah lighting, start of Hanukkah – Orange County Register

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With a flicker of flame, the first menorah candle outside the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach was lit marking the first night of Chanukah.

Around Orange County on Sunday, the lighting of the menorahs celebrated the start of the Festival of Lights, the eight days of Chanukah.

In downtown Newport Beach, the afternoon featured activities for families including gelts, traditional gold coin chocolates, a fire truck ladder shower, and entertainment.

  • The menorah is surrounded by a golden sunset after a lighting ceremony at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach on Sunday, November 28, 2021. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Children scramble to grab gelt, or pieces of chocolate, that fell from the top of a Newport Beach Fire Department ladder truck during a menorah lighting ceremony at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach on Sunday, November 28, 2021. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Newport Beach firefighters drop gelt, or pieces of chocolate, from the top of their ladder truck during a menorah lighting ceremony at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach on Sunday, November 28, 2021. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Chabad Center for Jewish Life Rabbi Reuven Mintz prepares to light the menorah on the first Hanukkah night in Newport Beach on Sunday, November 28, 2021. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Michael and Julie Friedman with their dog Cassy, ​​who stays warm in her Hanukkah sweater, attend the menorah lighting ceremony at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach on Sunday, November 28, 2021 (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Singer Yehuda Solomon with the band Moshav performs at the menorah lighting ceremony at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach on Sunday, November 28, 2021. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • MP Michelle Steel receives help lighting the shamash, or central candle on the menorah, on the first night of the Hanukkah celebration at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach on Sunday, November 28, 2021 (Photo by Mindy) Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Colorful dreidels are handed out to children during the Hanukkah celebration at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach on Sunday, November 28, 2021. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Children scramble to grab gelt, or pieces of chocolate, that fell from the top of a Newport Beach Fire Department ladder truck during a menorah lighting ceremony at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach on Sunday, November 28, 2021. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • Elan Lahmani, 4, looks through her menorah glasses during the menorah lighting ceremony at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach on Sunday, November 28, 2021. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

  • The menorah is surrounded by a golden sunset after a lighting ceremony at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newport Beach on Sunday, November 28, 2021. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register / SCNG)

Each Hanukkah night, another candle on the menorah is lit.

“It is a holiday that enriches our lives and strengthens our tradition,” said Rabbi Reuven Mintz of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life. “In ancient times our ancestors re-consecrated the Temple in Jerusalem. Today we are dedicated again to making this world a better and brighter place.

The tradition of the menorah, he said, “also conveys the universal message that good will eventually prevail over evil, freedom over oppression and light over darkness.”

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