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Hundreds Celebrate Hanukkah

Hundreds Celebrate Hanukkah

The Asheville Citizen Times, 12/24/08

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Hundreds Celebrate Hanukkah

Leslie Boyd LBoyd@CITIZEN-TIMES.com • published December 24, 2008 12:15 am

ASHEVILLE – The dance started with just a few people after the menorah was lit, but in a few minutes, a line of dozens snaked around the ballroom at the Asheville Renaissance Hotel.

Hundreds of people from across Western North Carolina showed up to Hanukkah Live 2008. The observance of Hanukkah began at sundown Sunday, and one light is lit on the menorah for eight nights.

“Outrageous, outrageous,” said Natalie Kramer, of Asheville, as she clapped to the music of the Mr. Shabbos Show.

The event was sponsored by Chabad House of Asheville, which worked with the staff of the Renaissance to make sure all the food was kosher.

“Have you had something to eat yet?” Rabbi Shaya Susskind asked as people greeted him.

Nearby were tables laden with cheese lasagna, macaroni and cheese, salad, latkes and doughnuts.

Susskind and his wife, Chana, moved from New York to Asheville in 2006 to reach out to the Jewish population and educate everyone who is interested in Jewish traditions and law.

“I think the Chabad House has brought such light,” said Lisa Lorelli, of Hickory. “They don't judge if you don't keep all the laws. They just teach the laws and traditions.”

Lorelli has taken several classes at Chabad House.

Susskind called Hanukkah “the power of one small jug of oil to rededicate an entire people.” It is not a major holiday in Jewish tradition, but it is celebrated with joy for the miracle of a lamp to stay lit for eight days on a single day's supply of oil.

“The only way we can combat darkness in the world is to light a candle,” Susskind said. “A single mitzvah — one good deed — can change the world.”

Aeden Ahlers, 4, helps lead her fellow Chabad Hebrew School of the Arts students in a song before the lighting of the Menorah for a Hanukkah celebration Tuesday evening at the Renaissance Hotel. (12/23/08 Erin Brethauer - ebrethau@citizen-times.com)

Elizabeth Gergel, a Chabad House assistant Hebrew teacher, helps students remember the lyrics to a traditional Jewish song during a Hanukkah celebration Tuesday evening. (12/23/08 Erin Brethauer - ebrethau@citizen-times.com)

Rabbi Shaya Susskind lights a menorah candle for David Zimmerman during a Hanukkah celebration Tuesday evening. (12/23/08 Erin Brethauer - ebrethau@citizen-times.com)

David Zimmerman and his wife Jill climb the few steps up to light the Menorah during a public Hanukkah celebration Tuesday night at the Renaissance Hotel. (12/23/08 Erin Brethauer - ebrethau@citizen-times.com)

Natalie Kramer dances with her twin daughters Sammi and Rachel, 9, during a Hanukkah celebration Tuesday evening. (12/23/08 Erin Brethauer - ebrethau@citizen-times.com)

Jared Feinberg, 7, sits patiently as he gets a tornado painted on his face Tuesday evening during a Hanukkah celebration. (12/23/08 Erin Brethauer - ebrethau@citizen-times.com)

After getting cat whiskers painted on her face, Aeden Ahlers, 4, meows on stage before a song performance by the Chabad House school of the arts students Tuesday evening during a Hanukkah celebration. (12/23/08 Erin Brethauer - ebrethau@citizen-times.com)

Cory Friedman's mother places and pins a yarmulkes on her son's head during a Hanukkah celebration Tuesday evening. (12/23/08 Erin Brethauer - ebrethau@citizen-times.com)

Michael Wood holds his son, Nevin, 4, on his lap and takes a picture of the young Chabad House singers during a Hanukkah celebration Tuesday evening. (12/23/08 Erin Brethauer - ebrethau@citizen-times.com)

Carol McCollum, known as Bubbie Carol, right, dances through the room during a Hanukkah celebration following the lighting of the menorah Tuesday evening. (12/23/08 Erin Brethauer - ebrethau@citizen-times.com)

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