A menorah rescued from a Long Island synagogue will head to Washington D.C. and be the centerpiece of Thursday’s White House Chanukah ceremony.
The almost seven-feet tall, brass candelabra from Temple Israel on Long Beach will symbolize how the entire region is coming into the light after the darkness of Superstorm Sandy, according to Rabbi David Bauman.
“This is our dark hour. We’re going to sleep crying and now, we’re coming out with a light and the idea that we lit the Chanukah candles second night of Chanukah in front of City Hall and on the sixth night of Chanukah, we’ll be lighting that menorah in the White House is definitely a beacon of light for us and a source of inspiration and hope,” Bauman told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
While much of the temple around it was destroyed, the menorah was not and became a true symbol of Chanukah, which marks the Jewish people’s struggle for religious freedom.
Rabbi Bauman said he received a call from Washington, “asking if we had a menorah, a chanukiah that survived the hurricane.” He will also be personally delivering it.
“We will be putting the menorah into my economical minivan, packed it very nicely and we’ll be driving to the White House to deliver it without stopping,” Bauman said.
Baunman said he is honored that Long Beach was chosen.
“Many synagogues in the Rockaways, in New Jersey were devastated. We are not the only one,” he said. “These last six weeks have been very traumatic for many people — not only in Long Beach, but across the region — and then in the morning, we wake up with great joy.”