Local Jewish community finds ways to safely celebrate Hanukkah

Posted at 3:25 PM, Dec 16, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. - With COVID-19 keeping people apart, members of the Hampton Roads Jewish community have found ways to still celebrate Hanukkah this week.

On Sunday, they held a drive-in menorah lighting at Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach. There's also been a car parade and other activities to keep kids engaged.

"With COVID, we have to put our ourselves to figure out how can we share with other people in a way that is not remembered as a down and negative holiday from 2020, but one that is remembered in a very positive, uplifting, and rewarding way," said Rabbi Levi Brashevitzky from the Chabad of Tidewater.

Rabbi Brashevitzky and his wife Rashi found ways to keep the tradition going, but from a safe place. "We realized that clearly we can't have big gatherings of people, but clearly people could certainly enjoy the spirit of Hanukkah and participate and enjoy the traditions from the safety of their own cars," said Rashi.

They'll light the seventh candle of the menorah on Wednesday evening as the holiday lasts for eight days with the goal of spreading light. "The idea of the menorah is spreading light into the world, spreading light in ourselves from ourselves to the world," said Rabbi Levi.

They said their new ways of celebrating have been greatly received this year. "I think it will carry the message of separately together," said Rabbi Levi. "While we may be physically separate, we have that component and aspect of togetherness."

They say anyone still needing a menorah can contact them.