On Erev Chanukah Friday, December 11, Senator Norm Coleman lit the first light of the Menorah at the Minnesota State Capitol.
The Senator was instrumental in getting permission to place the Menorah at the Minnesota State Capitol when he worked in the Attorney General’s Office.
He has lit the Menorah for close to two decades as Mayor of Saint Paul and throughout his term in the US Senate.
Monday evening, the fourth night of Chanukah, Governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty met with several Shluchim and then participated in the Menorah lighting at the State Capitol.
Governor Pawlenty met with Rabbis Moshe and Mendel Feller who discussed Jewish issues and shared the Lubavitch Chanukah publications.
Rabbi Mayer Rubinfeld, who serves as a Chaplain for the St. Paul Police Department and organizes the Menorah lighting events, was introduced to the Governor who acknowledged his contribution to improving the quality of life of all citizens of Minnesota.
He was joined by his wife Morah Rubinfeld, and Rabbi and Rebbetzin Asher Zeilingold and Rabbi and Mrs. Gershon Grossbaum also attended the meeting.
Following the meeting, the group proceeded to brave the frigid Minnesota weather at minus ten (twenty five below with the wind chill).
Rabbi Mendel Feller introduced the lighting and Rabbi Moshe Feller briefly addressed the crowd and introduced the Governor. The Governor spoke of the beauty of the Chanukah message and the lesson it teaches to all mankind; good must overcome evil and goodness will prevail.
After Mr. Pawlenty lit the Shamash, Rabbi Levi Feller chanted the Brachos and kindled the Menorah. The Governor joined the dancing led by the Yeshiva students and the assembled retreated to the heated tent where Chanukah goodies were enjoyed by all.
The Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team and the Jewish Federations held Jewish Heritage Night on Wednesday evening, the sixth light. After sharing the message of Chanuka with the crowd, Rabbi Mendel Feller kindled the Menorah and led Chanukah songs.
The Menorah was sponsored by the Chabad Living Legacy, directed by Rabbi Mordechai Grossbaum. Rabbis Feller and Grossbaum, along with several Lubavitch Cheder students, made Chanukah crafts with children, shared Menorahs, chocolate gelt and dreidels.
Kosher food was available and the menorah lighting was shown on the scoreboard. Throughout the week many Chanukah activities were held throughout Minnesota.