After a large menorah was lit, latkes and doughnuts were enjoyed by hundreds at the European Village in Palm Coast in celebration of Hanukkah on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
It was indeed a festival of lights, as Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Levi Ezagui encouraged the crowd to hold their phone flashlights over their heads to remember those who died in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on Oct. 27.
"In honor of all the victims of the Pittsburgh massacre on Shabbat, I'd like everybody to take this opportunity — a moment — to think about it," he said.
Rabbi Ezagui also thanked the Krayter family, who sponsored the event, by presenting Val Krayter with a plaque with a menorah on it. Krayter helped light the shamash and three other candles on the menorah — representing the first three nights of the eight-day holiday.
"The menorah represents light — light when it looks dark," Rabbi Ezagui said. "In this day and age, sometimes the world seems a little dark. A lot of things are happening throughout the world. But, my friends, a little light could take away a lot of darkness. You take a little candle, you put it in a dark room, the whole room is lit up. Every single one of us has a little light in us — a little candle inside us. We have to light that candle, light it up. Light up the world. Do a mitzvah. Do a good deed."
Mayor Milissa Holland and Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly were unable to make it as planned, but they sent their regards.
Greg Feldman, of the FCSO, read a speech from Holland that praised the Jewish community in Palm Coast.