On Motzei Shabbos, Nashville shliach Yitzchok Tiechtel lit a Menorah for 16,457 people at the Sommet Center stadium, as the Nashville Predators Hockey team faced off against the New York Islanders.
As the fans streamed into the stadium, the ice was sparkling clear, the lights were sharp, and a nine foot Menorah stood on the bandstand. The spirit of Chanukah entered the hearts of the most spirited fans, as the first ever Jewish Heritage Night was hosted at the NHL Hockey team in Nashville Tennessee.
A few minutes before the game, the stadium lights dimmed, and a powerful spotlight illuminated the Menorah.
Rabbi Tiechtel welcomed the crowd and shared a Chanukah message filled with hockey lingo, and reminded the crowd, that as the Dreidel drops on Sunday night, everyone should light their own Menorah, as the Festival of Lights begins.
On the jumbo-tron the lights of Chanukah shone, and from the speakers the melodies of the festival blared throughout the giant stadium. Then the players came out and the game began. Though there was a glint of blades on the ice, and the spray of snow in the air, the stadium was filled with the warmth and light of the Menorah.
To top it all off, the evening ended with a win for the Nashville Predators, and an amazing Kiddush Hashem and Pirsumei Nisa.
A special thank you goes to Rabbi Sholom Moshe Paltiel, shliach in Port Washington, NY, who lit the Menorah with the Islanders last year, and was an inspiration in making this event a reality.