The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday August 17th

UNC Jewish organizations host menorah lighting in the pit

Rabbi Zalman Bluming of UNC Chabad reads a prayer in preparation for the candle lighting in the pit on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, as Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz watches from below.
Buy Photos Rabbi Zalman Bluming of UNC Chabad reads a prayer in preparation for the candle lighting in the pit on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, as Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz watches from below.

Four of UNC's Jewish organizations hosted a menorah lighting in the Pit to celebrate Chanukah Tuesday. 

UNC Chabad, UNC Hillel, Alpha Epsilon Pi and Sigma Rho Lambda introduced the lighting ceremony, which was carried out by Rabbi Zalman Bluming, co-director of Chabad of Durham/Chapel Hill. Attendees of the ceremony were also given menorahs and free donuts. 

Chanukah is the Jewish wintertime festival of lights. It lasts eight days, and each day is commemorated with a candle lighting among other celebratory traditions and foods. The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, which was desecrated in 168 B.C.

“We light the menorah symbolically to shed a light on everything," said Rebecca Weisberger, the president of Chabad and a speaker at the event. “It’s supposed to be a joyous occasion, so we like to rejoice in the festival of light; that’s the best way to put it.”

Bluming led the group in some songs and prayers before speakers addressed the crowd. 

Executive Vice Provost Ronald P. Strauss and Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz were both in attendance and gave remarks about the importance of celebrating Chanukah at UNC. 

During his speech, Guskiewicz discussed the University’s commitment to and belief in fighting antisemitism.

“I just want to thank all of you for everything that you do to make our community special,” Guskiewicz said. “For bringing your unique perspectives, your unique lived experiences. You strengthen us as a community.”

Bluming said the lighting of the menorah was especially important after such a tumultuous year.

"(Chanukah is) really the significance of one small deed, one small goodness or habit, that really can flood the world with the optimism and hope we need," Bluming said. "Fear pinches the soul; optimism gives it oxygen. Now more than ever, after COVID, we need that optimism, we need that joy to bring back into our lives to bring back the unique spirit that we have.”

Sam Rappaport, a brother at AEPi and one of the speakers, said that he enjoyed the event.

“It’s cool like getting out here and being in the middle of campus and doing Jewish things," Rappaport said. "It was fun, well-organized, and fun! Latkes and donuts. It’s all you can ask for from a midday Chanukah celebration.”

Weisberger said she was happy about how the event turned out and excited to see the four organizations come together to celebrate.

"There aren’t a ton of Jews on Carolina’s campus, so any way we can gather them in numbers, especially an event like the Pit that can incorporate Jews and non-Jews," Weisberger said. "It gave everyone a minute to appreciate all the good in the world and light the menorah and smile and sing together."

@_aishabee_

university@dailytarheel.com

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.



Comments

The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for March 7, 2022

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive