U.S. Sen. Jon Tester to light Bozeman Menorah

by Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Freddy Monares

Montana Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester will join the Jewish movement Chabad Lubavitch of Montana on Saturday in lighting a 9-foot Menorah in front of First Security Bank on Main Street in Bozeman to celebrate the fifth night of Chanukah.

Chabad Lubavitch is a movement that promotes Judaism and provides daily Torah lectures and Jewish insights. According to its website, it’s a philosophy and an organization.

Chanukah, also known as Hanukkah, is a Jewish celebration commemorating the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The Jewish people had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt to reclaim the Temple.

Rabbi Chaim Bruk from the group organized the Menorah lighting ceremony. In a news release Friday, Bruk said in today’s world of 24/7 media, it has become way too easy to focus on the negativity in our world.

“But Chanuka is an annual reminder that light is so much stronger than darkness and that all good people seeking to illuminate must stand together, shoulder to shoulder, and brighten our families and communities,” he said.

Tester released a statement Friday and said, “As we look forward to a new year, the lessons of Hanukkah can resonate with all Montanans – that hope is stronger than fear.

“And most importantly, that if we work together we can solve any problem facing Montana,” he said.

Following the Menorah lighting ceremony, those in attendance will sing and eat traditional Chanukah foods including doughnuts and chocolate Gelt. Tester is also expected to address the crowd.

Bozeman’s Menorah lighting ceremony is one of thousands sponsored by the Chabad throughout the world, according to a release from Bruk. Festivities across Montana include cities such as Livingston, Hamilton, Missoula and the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and is free.