Sunday evening the Panevėžys Jewish Community celebrated the first day of Hanukkah. Members of the Community, guests and representatives of the city municipality gathered on Freedom Square where the celebration began with Jewish song and dance.
Rabbi Sholom Bar Krinsky and his family arrived to celebrate Hanukkah with the Panevėžys Jewish Community. This is a family holiday and it was delightful to see so many people in such a festive spirit on the square that cold winter evening. It truly was a wonderful mood and it was created by Rabbi Krinsky.
Panevėžys Jewish Community chairman Gennady Kofman told a correspondent from the newspaper Sekundė about the holiday and its significance for the Jewish people, adding this holiday is popular around the world wherever Jews live. Others celebrate it as well, people who are tolerant and respect Jewish tradition, he noted.
City council member Alfonsas Petrauskas lit the first Hanukkah candle and Rabbi Krinsky said the holiday prayers. Rabbi Krinsky said the light and warmth of Hanukkah should enter into each of our hearts, into every family and every home.
“Today we live in a time of uncertainty, when the world is surrounded by so much negativity, so we, all the residents of the planet, must wrestle with the dark forces, so that the world would be brighter, that it would be nice and good to live in it,” Rabbi Krinsky said.
The celebration later moved to the building of the Panevėžys Jewish Community where members of the Community and guests ate latkes and doughnuts and sang and danced to traditional Jewish songs.