Photos: Lawrence community celebrates Hanukkah with annual menorah lighting

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Lawrence community members gathered outside the Lawrence Public Library Wednesday to watch Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life light a 9-foot-tall menorah.

Tiechtel was joined by members of the Klezmer band Tum Balalaika, who performed Jewish folk music after the annual lighting of the menorah.

Attendees brave enough to face the chilly evening were rewarded with hot drinks and snacks. 

In Jewish culture, the menorah is representative of love driving out hate. This year, Hanukkah’s message of light triumphing over darkness is resonating within the community; unfortunately, antisemitism has been on the rise nationally. 

The tallest candle in the middle of the menorah is called the shamash, or helper candle. The shamash and four candles — one for each day of Hanukkah — were lit Wednesday.

The celebration moved inside the library’s auditorium after the menorah was lit. The smell of latkes and the sound of Klezmer music filled the air as people enjoyed apple cider, hot chocolate, coffee, donuts, fruit, and, of course, traditional potato pancakes. 

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Chloe Anderson (she/her) contributed to The Lawrence Times from August 2022 through May 2023. She is also published in Climbing magazine, Kansas Reflector and Sharp End Publishing. As a recent graduate of the University of Kansas, Chloe plans to continue her career in photography, rock climbing and writing somewhere out West.

You can view her portfolio, articles and commissioned work here. Check out more of her work for the Times here.

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