Celebrating Chanukah in the snow

Rabbi Bentzion Schtroks led the Menorah lighting ceremony at the West Langley Hall in Walnut Grove on Tuesday, Dec. 20. (Special to Langley Advance Times)Rabbi Bentzion Schtroks led the Menorah lighting ceremony at the West Langley Hall in Walnut Grove on Tuesday, Dec. 20. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Attendees enjoyed latkes, donuts and other Chanukah delicacies at the West Langley Hall in Walnut Grove on Tuesday, Dec. 20. (Special to Langley Advance Times)Attendees enjoyed latkes, donuts and other Chanukah delicacies at the West Langley Hall in Walnut Grove on Tuesday, Dec. 20. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Celebrating Chanukah with an outdoor Menorah lighting at the West Langley Hall in Walnut Grove on Tuesday, Dec. 20. (From left) Dreidel mascot Dean Donnely, Rabbi Falik Schtroks, Rabbi Bentzion Schtroks, Langley City Councillor Paul Albrecht, Langley Township Councillor Barb Martens, Regina Levovski, Ilona Vosk, and Yulia Berezovsky. (Special to Langley Advance Times)Celebrating Chanukah with an outdoor Menorah lighting at the West Langley Hall in Walnut Grove on Tuesday, Dec. 20. (From left) Dreidel mascot Dean Donnely, Rabbi Falik Schtroks, Rabbi Bentzion Schtroks, Langley City Councillor Paul Albrecht, Langley Township Councillor Barb Martens, Regina Levovski, Ilona Vosk, and Yulia Berezovsky. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

About 150 people braved heavy snow and cold temperatures to take part in an outdoor Chanukah celebration in Langley at the West Langley Hall in Walnut Grove.

It took place on Tuesday, Dec. 20, the day after heavy snow blanketed Langley and surrounding areas.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Unexpectedly heavy snow blankets Langley, snarls traffic

Rabbi Bentzion Schtroks led the Menorah lighting ceremony outside the hall, which was attended by Langley City Councillor Paul Albrecht and Township Councillor Barb Martens.

Rabbi Schtroks described the lighting of the Menorah as symbolic of the power of light over darkness.

Inside the hall, participants were able to enjoy latkes, donuts and other Chanukah delicacies, and spin traditional dreidels, the four-sided top that is part of Chanukkah tradition.

Attendees played the traditional dreidel game for Chanukah at the West Langley Hall in Walnut Grove on Tuesday, Dec. 20. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Attendees played the traditional dreidel game for Chanukah at the West Langley Hall in Walnut Grove on Tuesday, Dec. 20. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Organizers had been hoping for double the numbers that turned out, but given the weather, Rabbi Schtroks was pleased with the turnout.

“It was a beautiful coming together of the community,” Schtroks told the Langley Advance Times.

He explained the in-person celebration, coming as pandemic restrictions were being eased, was “particularly special in that Jewish tradition this year celebrates Hakhel [the] year of gathering, occurring every seven years remembering and reliving the giving of the Torah at Sinai.”

“This is quite appropriate to our current climate, as we emerge from from the pandemic, and we are once again able to celebrate together in person.”

Chanukkah, held over eight nights and days, commemorates the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent re-dedication of the Second Temple.

Volunteers who helped organize the outdoor Menorah lighting and indoor meal with Chanukah events posed for a group photo at the West Langley Hall in Walnut Grove on Tuesday, Dec. 20. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Volunteers who helped organize the outdoor Menorah lighting and indoor meal with Chanukah events posed for a group photo at the West Langley Hall in Walnut Grove on Tuesday, Dec. 20. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

The event was organized by the Centre for Judaism of the Lower Fraser Valley, and Kulam Ba’Valley in Langley.

Video from the day can be viewed at the Kulam Ba’Valley online Facebook page.

READ ALSO: Jewish festival of lights begins in Ukraine as battles rage


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