INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dozens of people gathered at Monument Circle for a historic menorah lighting on Saturday.
It was the first time a communal Hanukkah menorah had been placed on the circle downtown, according to the Young Jewish Professionals of Indianapolis, who organized the event.
Three candles were lit on a large menorah to represent the third night of Hanukkah on Saturday night. The holiday began at sundown on Thursday.
A candle is lit each night during eight days of Hanukkah.
Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew, also known as the festival of lights, and it’s celebrated every year to mark the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem thousands of years ago.
At that time, the Jewish people weren’t certain if they can light the menorah as they only had enough oil for one day.
Dovid Grossbaum, co-founder of Young Jewish Professionals of Indianapolis, told News 8 the message behind Hanukkah is not to let limited tools dismay you from engaging in good.
“Despite you only having one flask of oil, one small flash of oil only enough for one day’s work, light it. Give it a shot and who knows maybe it’ll light forever,” said Grossbaum.
Grossbaum said the organization has existed for 13 months now. It was formed to celebrate more Jewish culture.
“We’ve met amazing people along the way, both Jewish and gentile,” Grossbaum added. “A lot of the team that’s over here helping me are non-Jews that are passionate about our organization and volunteer for it. It’s really amazing.”
There were locally made kosher doughnuts and warm cocktails provided by Handlebar Indy following the ceremony.
Grossbaum plans to make the menorah lighting an annual tradition.
There will be another menorah lighting outside the Indiana Statehouse and a menorah lighting in downtown Carmel at 3 p.m. Sunday.