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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Casting a new light

 
 

Over the years, the Chabad Jewish Student Group has illuminated A&M’s campus with a 13-foot menorah. In celebration of Hanukkah, Jewish customs and traditions will be observed at 5 p.m. today at the H20 Fountain. All students are welcome to join. The Chabad Jewish Student Group is interested in educating other Aggies on the historical and faith basis of the holiday.
The group began the construction and installment of the menorah on Sunday.
“We are very proud to say that the height of our menorah is around four feet taller than the menorah at the University of Texas,” said Rabbi Yossi Lazroff, the director of the Rohr Chabad Jewish Center.
Students said that the lighting ceremony of the menorah is a way for others to learn about the history of the Jewish faith and build a dialogue around it.
“The menorah can be seen as a symbol of religious freedom for all religions,” Lazroff said.
Hanukkah commemorates the story of how the menorah in the reclaimed Holy Temple in Jerusalem miraculously burned for eight days from a one-day supply of olive oil. Each of the menorah’s eight candles are lit on consecutive nights during Hanukkah in remembrance of the faithfulness of the Jews, who persevered under the oppression of the Greeks.
“The Jewish community is small on campus. Outreach to all students on campus plays a major role in the Chabad Jewish Student Group. It is our job to reach out to other Jewish students, but we are also very interested in educating non-Jewish students on Jewish life, culture, Israel and politics,” said Cody Weaver, sophomore political science major. “It’s not just for the Jewish community; it is also to reach out to the rest of the Aggie community as well.”
At the menorah lighting, food and other activities will be provided.
“These events can affect all Aggies and we are excited to share this experience with the campus. The menorah lighting is an event open to everyone,” Weaver said.
The menorah lighting on campus is a way to celebrate religious freedom and religious expression.
“Hanukkah is a holiday about hope. Having a menorah on campus is a great thing; it’s my first time to get to experience it,” said Cory Nagelberg, freshman agricultural economics major.
The Rohr Chabad Jewish Center takes pride in providing a “home away from home” for Jewish students and is open to any students interested in gaining knowledge or experiencing the activities that the Jewish student group has planned for the semester.
“The menorah lighting on campus has become a continuous tradition. It sends a positive message; it affects everyone. I think it will promote questions and curiosity, building a conversation about Hanukkah,” Nagelberg said. “I feel students here are open to understanding different religions and I am sure people will be interested in learning. This will be a great opportunity for all who participate and wish to gain religious perspectives.”
If you are interested in gaining more knowledge about the celebration of Hanukkah or the Chabad Jewish Student Group, please visit http://www.jewishaggies.com/.

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