Edmonds celebration lights up Hanukkah

EDMONDS — The city Christmas tree danced in the breeze, almost in sync with the song echoing from the crowd of worshipers in the square outside City Hall.

“Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, come to light the Menorah.

“Let’s have a party, we’ll all dance the hora.”

The scene at Edmonds’ Centennial Plaza unfolded at dusk Sunday, the fifth day of Hanukkah.

Rabbi Berel Paltiel, from the Chabad Jewish Center of Snohmish County, lit five candles on a nine-foot-tall menorah.

In back of the Jewish candelabrum, a decorative Santa rode on his sleigh. Behind Santa, stood the city’s freshly decorated Christmas tree.

Mayor Dave Earling, who is Christian, said the Hanukkah celebration shows another face of Edmonds’ growing diversity.

“They invited me and I’m just glad to be here,” Earling said. “I’m delighted to see the size of the gathering.”

The crowd for the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting a day earlier had been much larger: an estimated 2,000. Sunday’s crowd, by comparison, numbered in the range of 60. The dusk-time festivities included the ritual menorah lighting, as well as jelly donuts and generous dashes of humor.

In the crowd were congregants from Edmonds’ Westgate Chapel, who were honoring the Jewish roots of their Christian faith.

“I’m really excited that Edmonds is having our Jewish believers and its Christian believers in the same square,” said Gina Messenger, who attends Westgate.

Paltiel leads the local Chabad Center of Snohomish County. This was the second Hanukkah celebration the center has conducted in Edmonds.

“Hanukkah has a universal message and I think the menorah is a universal symbol,” Paltiel said.

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is an eight-day holiday that usually begins in December. This year, it began on the evening of Nov. 27 and ends Thursday.

The festival commemorates events from more than 2,100 years ago, following the Maccabees military victory over a vastly superior army. When the Jewish victors rededicated their Temple, a one-day supply of oil miraculously burned for eight days.

“All Jewish holidays really boil down to the same thing: They tried to kill us and we won. Let’s eat,” said Laurence Schwarz, 46, who lives north of Edmonds.

Paltiel, speaking to the crowd Sunday night, urged everyone to perform a good deed in the spirit of Hanukkah after they returned home: “This bit of light has the ability to chase away a vast amount of darkness.”

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Man on ferry accuses child of theft, allegedly pulls knife

The man was arrested, no one was hurt, and the ferry was delayed 30 minutes on its way to Mukilteo.

State is close but still not compliant in school-funding case

Lawmakers must act during the next legislative session to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

Dems say GOP tax plan doesn’t add up for everyone

Rep. Suzan DelBene’s amendments to restore deductions, which the bill does away with, were rejected.

Most Read