The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Chabad at CSUN celebrates Hanukkah on campus

Rabbi Chaim Brook (R) and other members from the local Jewish community gather around a torch to light their candles for Chabad at CSUN’s annual menorah lighting in front of the University Library in Northridge, Calf., on Dec. 7, 2023.

A crowd stood across the University Library, with unlit candles in one hand and warm drinks in the other. They waited for the sun to go down as Rabbi Chaim Brook greeted those trickling in. In front of them stood a large menorah with the words “Happy Hanukkah.”

Chabad at CSUN hosted their annual menorah lighting on Dec. 7 to celebrate the first day of Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah.

The event featured hot drinks and latkes, which are potato fritters traditionally made around the holiday. This year, Hanukkah runs from the evening of Dec. 7 to Dec. 15.

According to Brook, the holiday spans over eight days to celebrate a religious story that outlines the victory of a Jewish group called the Maccabees who revolted against the Seleucid Empire.

“A great miracle happened where a small army was victorious over a great army because they were strong in their beliefs,” Brook said.

The Maccabees were only able to find a small jug of oil in the temple they reclaimed. They used it to light a menorah, and it was supposed to last one day, but had miraculously lasted for eight days, hence the celebration of lighting one candle per day.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the Jewish community in Los Angeles has been struggling to find ways to celebrate the holiday due to fears of antisemitic attacks and because of the Israel-Hamas war.

Brook said that by celebrating the holiday with the local community, they hope to dispel away some of the darkness, especially with the recent rise in antisemitic incidents.

Brook, who serves as Chabad at CSUN’s co-director, said that the organization has been celebrating the holiday at the university for about 19 years.

“Here at CSUN, there’s a large Jewish community and we’re celebrating tonight by lighting the first candle and sharing that light with the entire community,” Brook said. “We’ll push away the darkness with just a little bit of light.”

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