Menorah installed in front of Library building and lit nightly
November 30, 2021: Whistler, B.C. – Whistler Public Library is launching its fourth annual Community Chanukah Celebration with a menorah in front of the library building. The nine-branched candelabrum will have a one of its eight lanterns lit by Rabbi Shapiro each night of the Jewish Chanukah holiday, according to custom.
The menorah lighting event outside the Library is organized by Rabbi Shapiro and The Whistler Sinai. The first lantern was lit for the beginning of Chanukah on Sunday, November 28 at 4 p.m. and the menorah will be lit nightly at the same time through Sunday, December 5. The lighting on Friday, December 3 will be at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 4.. For more information contact 778-805-6077 or email email@example.com. The menorah is a temporary one for this year, and different designs will be considered for the future.
A video of the Chanukah celebration at the Library, hosted by Ira Pettle and Library Program Coordinator Jeanette Bruce is available on the Whistler Public Library Facebook Page and YouTube channel.
The story of Chanukah commemorates the miracle of when a menorah burned for eight days, when it only had oil to stay lit one night, during the time that the Assyrian Greek Empire forbade Jewish people in Jerusalem from practicing their culture and religion. There are eight regular lanterns on the menorah and one in the middle which is called the shamash (the lighter).
“The purpose of the menorah is to share goodness, spirituality and human rights with the rest of the world,” said Rabbi Shapiro. “The lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson started a project nearly 50 years ago to have menorahs in the most public spaces possible. The Eiffel Tower, Central Park and the Vancouver Art Gallery all have menorahs to celebrate the victory of freedom of religion and culture. The idea that a little bit of light, no matter how dark it may be, always has the power to prevail! Where better can we enjoy the beauty of the spiritual meeting of culture and freedom than in a place like Whistler?”
“The inclusive mandate of the Library coupled with the uniquely ‘local’ Village space that surrounds the Library’s location presents the perfect space to highlight and celebrate diversity within the Whistler community,” said Library Director Elizabeth Tracy.
“Libraries are one of a few places where people don’t have to buy anything to be there; our programs and materials are curated by professional people who are committed to being open and inclusive. When we say that everyone belongs at the library, we mean it: we welcome all sizes, colours, abilities, ages, cultures, orientations, genders, religions, and beliefs.”
Emerging from the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic, libraries are an essential part of the social safety net that fosters resilience and equity within communities. As low-barrier social infrastructure, libraries promote belonging and equity for the communities they serve. The Whistler Public Library has a history of celebrating diversity through partnerships with the Whistler Multicultural Society, the Alphabet Soup drop-in with Whistler Community Services Society, and the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
For more information, visit whistlerlibrary.ca/events and the Facebook event listing.