Appropriately enough, it was the flame-topped wicks swaying high above Milwaukee Avenue that brought singing and dancing to the streets of Chicago’s famous Wicker Park neighborhood.
On the first night of Chanukah, candles danced and swayed atop a 15-foot outdoor menorah while Jews of all ages followed suit below, urged on by live music and approving car-horns.
But the outdoor ceremony wasn’t the only way Bucktown Chabad brought Chanukah to the streets.
A parade of Klezmer-blasting Menorah pedi-cabs pulled up, complete with electric blankets, to cart partygoers through the neighborhood.
Rabbi Yosef Moscowitz, Director of Chabad Bucktown, The Living Room, and Executive Director of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois, said it’s time to turn the heated political street talk into the warmth and light of Chanukah so this year in Illinois we have increased the number of public menorah lightings.
The cold was clearly a non-factor for the crowds gathered outside, who cheered Rabbi Moscowitz’s words on peace and community and then put them into action with a donut buffet and dancing and singing that resounded through the neighborhood.