Hanukkah Lighting on Boathouse Row

Title
Hanukkah Lighting on Boathouse Row
Description
The Mayor's Office of Public Engagement hosted their Hanukkah lighting on Zoom and shared it via Facebook Live.
Date Created
December 10, 2020
Denomination
Judaism
State
Pennsylvania
Place
Philadelphia
Genre
video
extracted text
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Video Transcript
Big old world keeps on spinning Life all those darkness falls. light.
Please bless the hearts the hands that hold us gently and make a place
for us to shine. Each moment is a new. Each breath of of light inside.
And all your love will hold and make us stronger. And make a place for
us to. May you be. My Love forever. Find your right. On your journey.
Your place to You be listed and respected. Light May you find. Deep
inside you and may find your place to shine. 123 Be blessed. Change
forever. Well, good evening friends good evening and hello My name is
Reverend Naomi Washington Lee Park and I am delighted to welcome you to
this virtual Watch party uh convened by the mayor's Office of Public
Engagement and partnership with our friends at the Jewish Federation of
Greater Philadelphia and Philadelphia parks and Recreation. We are here
gathered sort of on boathouse row uh for this. Tonight of Hanukkah and
you you know as I think the miraculous story that this festival
celebrates at remember that there is good news at the end of the year
that has felt so full of challenge and difficulty and uncertainty and
loss and darkness in many ways. light is stubborn. That's the good uh
that Hanukkah is filling my spirit. Tonight, light is stubborn even
when the oil is low, even when the headlines break our hearts even when
our lives are are not all that we want them to be just yet light has a
way of stubbornly breaking through the clouds and defying even our
highest expectations. Um so welcome to the celebration of light um
happy. To you and we're we have a short program uh as part of this
virtual uh party before we watch the boathouse row light up uh. Like a
menorah, so I'm going to give you a sense of what the program will be
like and then my friends and colleagues will come uh and share with
you. tonight You just heard an opening song played by Jesse Romer, um
perhaps Jesse will tell us what that song is when Jesse uh offers some
more musical selections little later in the program. We're gonna first
hear from Mayor Jim Kenney, who will bring greetings and remarks we'll
hear from Catherine at. Level, Who is the Commissioner of Philadelphia,
parks and Recreation, Uh we'll hear a song from Jesse. We'll hear
remarks from Gale Nori, who is the co-chair of Jewish federation and
we'll hear from Rabbi Mason who is the rabbi over at Society Hill
Synagogue Jesse will close us with the song and then we'll watch the
rope light up so please hear them as we celebrate Hanukkah together.
Mayor Kenny. Thank you very much and happy Hanukkah everyone. first. I
wanna thank all of you for inviting me to celebrate the first day of
Hanukkah. Sadly, Coven numbers are still too high for us to be enjoying
this holiday celebration together in person I'm happy we're able to
adapt and still celebrate the true essence of the holiday season, which
is taking care of one another tonight officially marks the beginning of
the festival lights as we light the first candle in the menorah The men
serves as a symbol of light and hope for us today amidst the darkness
of the pandemic just that it has for generation. Before us the slight
reminds us that even when confronted with much darkness, the smallest
amount of light can be illuminating. That's all shine some light during
these difficult times Those who know me will tell you that this is
absolutely my favorite time of the year. I hope it is for you and your
family. Also. it's a great time to remember the things that matter to
us most our loved ones and of course our health and remember remember
whether you celebrate Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa the festival, the
three kings or any. Traditional observance these celebrations connect
us with a shared sense of unity and community. so thank you again
Philadelphia for helping your neighbors during these challenging times
and for keeping traditions alive, I wish all of you a joyous holiday
season filled with late love, peace and health. Remember, we are
feeling strong, happy and healthy holidays to everyone. God bless you
all. Thank you Mayor Commissioner. Hi, everybody and happy Hanukkah
welcome to the city of Philadelphia's fourth annual Hanukkah
celebration and Boathouse Row lighting 4 years ago. A woman approached
me at an event with this idea to turn the lights along Boathouse row
into the world's largest menorah, although we never got that
recognition, I personally believe that it is the case and I am so happy
that it has become a part of our city's annual holiday tradition. I
wanna thank Reverend Lee. For leading this wonderful effort, I wanna
thank the Jewish Federation for being our partners on this since that
very first year and I wanna thank my friend Tony Schneider for
explaining traditions of Hanukkah to me a Catholic Girl 4 years ago
when I called him to see how we should go about this idea as the parks
and rec Commissioner, I have the honor of overseeing the department
that cares for and maintains the lights along Boathouse row, one of the
most iconic landmarks in Philadelphia. I'm thrilled to provide
Philadelphia. With the opportunity to observe this wonderful religious
celebration at one of our greatest public spaces this year more than
ever our public spaces have been essential resources for residents as
they sought opportunity to safely recreate and relax amid covet
nineteen this has been an incredibly challenging year for all of us
celebrating this joyous holiday with you all tonight even virtually is
a great gift as it reminds us that the great light is ahead of us.
Hanukkah reminds us to. That light and the promise and hope it
represents on behalf of Philadelphia parks and recreation. I wish you
and your loved ones, peace joy and good health in this holiday season.
Thank you. Thank you Commissioner Jesse. So my kids and I are going to
sing a song for you that takes very ancient ancient words this these
lights these candles we light tonight and it adds a modern prayer by
these lights. Remember when we lived in peace my two kids are here.
Hannah and one is on camera. One who's not. Tornado Me. I know my. By
this by this. This life. This life. Remember, When will. And by this.
Tornadoes. Your Wait. How beautiful how beautiful thank you? Thank you
Gail. We welcome you. thank you. It is an honor to be with you all this
evening as we celebrate the first night of Hanukkah together, my name
is Gail and I am honored to be the co chair of the Board of the Jewish
Federation of Greater Philadelphia My sincere thanks to our great
friend Mayor Jim Kenney for joining us tonight and for his constant
support of the Jewish community. In Philadelphia I'd also like to
extend my thanks to Reverend Naomi Washington Lee commissioner level
and the entire team at Philly parks and Recreation for their hard work
in putting together this wonderful event that the entire city of
Philadelphia can enjoy as rabbi Nathan will explain shortly Hanukkah is
a celebration of a miracle a miracle that in the darkest of times
during the most forbid. Of challenges a flickering light refused to be
extinguished for eight nights Jews across the world light candles to
celebrate this miracle and to remind everyone that even in the most
challenging of times there is hope I'm sure we all feel like we are
overdue for a miracle right about now we are here together in one of
the darkest times of modern history We are facing a. Holiday period not
marked by parties and festivities, but social distancing and concern
for loved ones as we look ahead to a vaccine, We also know that we are
facing a dark and difficult winter while Hanukkah is a celebration of a
miracle, it is also sends a clear and strong message that we cannot
ever let the light go out it may be. It may be painful, it may seem
like there's no way out, but we have to keep the flame lit and remind
ourselves that there is hope we need to embrace the brightness within
each of us and for those of us who need to know that we are not alone
today. we begin to light the flame in homes across our city and now on
boat House row. We hope that our light reaches those who feel alone in
the darkness and that the flames serve as a reminder that miracles are.
Possible. For those of us who never give up hope to all celebrating, I
wish you a Sam. Thank you. Thank you. Gail. Thank you. Rabbi Nathan
Thank you. Gail. Thank you. Reverend Naomi Thank you. Mayor Kenny Thank
you to all our community leaders. Here's my little miracle. We'll see
this is my daughter Lila. We'll see if this miracle last that would be
a miracle. uh this is my wife Caroline. We're delighted to be here
Happy Happy Hanukkah so each year when we get to this part of the year,
we're asked to reflect on the question that Gail mentioned that was
asked. In our sacred text, thousands of years ago, which was my which
means what is Hanukkah. What are we even celebrating this evening? so
the historians tell us it is the celebration of an unexpected
unexpected victory face of overwhelming odds Our ancestors broke free
from their oppressors expressing their religious tradition in peace and
the traditional answer that Gail alluded to is that we celebrate
because when our ancestors recover their holy temple, there appeared to
be. Enough oil to light the secret lamp for one night, but it
miraculously lasted a beautiful nights but if you if you scour our
text, if you scour our sacred tradition long enough, you discover a
different origin story altogether one with with some themes that think
still resonate today. so the story goes all the way back to the dawn of
creation when Adam and Eve were milling about in the garden of Eden
awaiting their faith after the incident with the snake and the tree and
the whole affair we all know about. Hanging out in the garden of Eden
awaiting God's response and they start to notice as the days go by the
days they're getting shorter and shorter darker and darker earlier and
earlier, Oh my gosh, Adam says the eve we did this because of what we
did the world is going to return to who they said the world is gonna
return to chaos and disorder. Is gonna unravel, I know it's a little
scary the entire work of creation um sorry, honey. I'm sorry. This is
how Adam and Eve felt they were They were appalled by this. And so they
take it upon themselves as I'm sure my daughter, Lila would do if she
had the opportunity they take it upon themselves to sit and pray and
fast for you guessed it 8 days as the days pass during these 8 days,
they start to notice wait a minute the days no longer seem to feel so
short the days are getting longer they've attuned themselves to the
rhythms of the universe. Are they saying this is the order of the
world? It gets dark. But it gets light again. And they celebrated for
you guessed it 8 days. So with that, we're gonna turn into the lighting
of the Hanukkah candles to memorialize this sacred truth, so there are
three short blessings. we'll be singing as we prepare to light the
candles the first translates to thank you our God's source of existence
who makes us all sacred through your invitation to engage in the sacred
ritual of lighting the candles of Hanukkah. second says. Thank you and
I are God's source of existence who revealed wonders to our four bears
in those days and in this season as well and the third. Thank you Adam
and I are God's source of existence who gave us life who who helped us
who facilitated our arrival to this very moment without further ado.
Hello I've been meets for the new car. I am by my house and deny and
hold on. The key in the new. has. Hi everyone. Happy holidays. Happy
Hanukkah. Wow. thank you. Thank you so much we're gonna close this part
of the program with another song by Jesse. My kids and I are gonna sing
a song for you by Lori It's a song in Latino Judeo Spanish. It's about
counting the candles. so we hope that you will count along with us when
we get to the chorus. God. Won't you eight candles come to? Also, I
mean. Oh, You. Or your spider Man. More Fiesta But just be yourself.
Out with us Your Pastor We go now find out. Dallas Yes, that um this is
my applause. applause. applause. applause. Thank you so much uh how
beautiful how beautiful how beautiful thank you all. We're gonna turn
now to the row. let's turn to the row and watch it light up. There it
is yes, yes. yes. yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Happy Happy Hanukkah to you all
remember the stubbornness of light Remember the miracle of light and
remember the darkness won't last. always the days will get longer.
Thank you all so much for being with us. Thank you. Mayor Thank you
Commissioner. uh thank you, Rabbi Nathan and Gail and Jesse Thank you
to the folks behind the scenes uh and Tom who made it happen for. US we
hope that you uh celebration is rich and meaningful. Thank you so much
for participating with us tune in later in the month, we'll be back on
the road celebrating Christmas and Kwanzaa. Thank you all so much.
let's say bye to everybody from the kind of sort of kind of sort of
kinda sort of thank you all so much be well and be safe. Take care. Hey
everyone.

Mayor's Office of Public EngagementVideosHanukkah Lighting on Boathouse Row!

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