You have heard of the Giant Mango but have you heard of the Giant Mango Chanukah Menorah?
Cairns Jewish Community ignited a public Chanukah menorah erected on the Esplanade in Cairns . This Chanukah menorah – is likely to be a world first, as it is created using North Queensland mangoes. Mayor Bob Manning was honoured to light the Shamash “helper” candle.
“The Chanukah menorah serves as a symbol of North Queensland’s dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship G‑d freely, openly, and with pride. This is true especially in Cairns, Australia was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion free from restraint and persecution,” said Rabbi Ari Rubin. “We have chosen to create our Chanukah Menorah out of Mangoes to commemorate the beauty of North Queensland and its fusion with the message of Chanukah.
“I want my kids to grow up with pride in their Jewish heritage and a feeling of equality and self-confidence as Australians” said Israel Hajbi of Machans Beach, who was looking forward to attending the public menorah lighting. “Chabad’s Chanukah menorahs are arguably one of the most important developments ever to help my child’s education. I wish they had this where I grew up.”
The Chanukah Menorah lighting is part of the worldwide Chanukah campaign, an initiative launched by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, in 1973. The campaign highlights and encourages the central theme of the holiday — publicising the story of the Hanukkah miracle.
“The message of Chanukah is the message of light,” added Rabbi Rubin. “The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness. Another act of goodness and kindness, another act of light, can make all the difference.”
Today, the unprecedented public display of Chanukah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever altering the American practice and awareness of the festival. North Queensland’s Chanukah menorah is one of more than 15,000 large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower and the Kremlin helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message.
Throughout North QLD, Chabad will be presenting several Chanukah events and celebrations. Including a big event in Townsville, with smaller events in Airlie Beach, Mackay, Ingham, Bowen and Ayr.
Rabbi Ari Rubin
Chabad Centre for Jewish Life in North Queensland- a division of Chabad of RARA