Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty kindled the Shamash and Senator Rudy Boschwitz (R-MN, 1979-1991) Chairman of Friends of Chabad Lubavitch of Minnesota chanted the brachos and lit the first Chanukah candle on Wednesday night, on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol.
Mr. Steve Hunegs, Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas introduced the Governor. He stated that just as the Menorah gives light, so too Chabad Lubavitch illuminates the world with Torah and Mitzvos. He thanked the Governor for his friendship and support of Eretz Israel and the community.
In his remarks, the Governor said that the Constitution of Minnesota begins with the words: “We, the people of the state of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings and secure the same to ourselves and our posterity …”. The kindling of the Menorah illustrates the principles on which the State was founded.
Head Shliach to Minnesota Rabbi Moshe Feller wished him blessing and success in his future endeavors. MC Rabbi Mendel Feller shared a Chanukah insight from the teachings of the Rebbe.
Rabbi Gershon Grossbaum constructed the Menorah. The entire event was coordinated by Rabbi Meir Rubinfeld.
Prior to the lighting a group of shluchim met with the Governor. After discussing education and other important issues, Rabbi Moshe Feller presented the Governor with a silver eight-branched Menorah and thanked him for participating in the Menorah lightings for the past eight years. The Governor thanked the shluchim for the great work which they do.
Following the lighting everyone enjoyed hot latkes and Sufganiyot in the tent. At the last minute the Fire inspector did not allow heat, nevertheless the Minnesota Jewry were the “Happy Frozen Chosen.”