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    Castro Menorah Lighting Ceremony 2021

    The annual Castro Menorah Lighting Ceremony was held at Jane Warner Plaza on Tuesday evening, November 30, the third date of Hanukkah this year. The event is open to the public and includes singing, remarks, and sufganiyot (jelly donuts). Led by Rabbi Mychal Copeland and Cantor Sharon Bernstein, the program this year also included remarks by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and State Senator Scott Wiener. Sponsors of the ceremony are Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, the Castro Community Benefit District, and the Castro Merchants Association.

    Rabbi Cheryl Peretz gives additional meaning to the Hanukkah story. She shared:

    “Each night’s candle will burn until all that is left is the small wick of flames desperately trying to continue to revive itself as it starts to burn low. And, inevitably, sad as it may be, it will eventually burn out. And, what will we do? The next night, and each night thereafter, we will not only relight that candle, but we will add more light to the menorah, increasing the light shining from our homes.

    We know all too well that the task of shining light into the world is as challenging today as it was (during the time of the Temple rededication). Lighting the Hanukkah menorah invites us to ignite the flames of our own souls, to find the spark that cannot be extinguished, that can burn not just for eight days, but for the entire year. As the light of our menorah burns, our internal light must also be kindled in the fight against darkness of evil, assimilation, and indifference. The menorah reminds us of the miracle that no matter how dark life may be, hope and faith can inspire a source of light deep within each of us.”

    Published on December 16, 2021