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Congregation lights menorah on Tower Square

By Diane Wilkins
Marion Daily Republican
Marion, Ill.
Mon Dec 22, 2008, 11:22 AM CST
Rabbi Moshe Laurie prepares to light the first candle for the Chanukkah celebration.
Even below freezing temperatures did not deter the faithful from a ceremony on the Tower Square.
Congregation Adat Ariel under the leadership of Rabbi Moshe Laurie lit the Shamash, which is the worker candle from which the other eight candles are lit and then lit the first candle of Chanukkah (Hanukkah). The Festival of Lights is a time of rededication and consecration for the Jewish nation. It commemorates the time when the temple was restored after being liberated from the Greeks.
By tradition, a light is to burn eternally in the temple, but when the time came to relight the eternal flame only a small container of the blessed oil was found. In obedience, the lamp was lit not knowing how long the flame was lit. The lamp burned for eight days and word spread throughout the region that God was in His temple.
Rabbi Laurie is a Jew who believes that the Messiah has come in the form of Jesus Christ. Congregation Adat Ariel is a group of Jewish believers who join with Christians in worship. Currently, the congregation meets on Friday evenings at the Abundant Life Fellowship on East DeYoung.

Rabbi Laurie conducted a joint meeting Sunday night with the congregation from Abundant Life where he explained the significance of Chanukah.

"It was an honor to have the two congregations worship together," Pastor Jeff Baker said. "The coming together of believers is important in today's world."

Rabbi Laurie said that he was very pleased with the response from the City of Marion about erecting the menorah. Gail West, City Administrator, happened to be working late in her office and extended an invitation to the group to stay warm in the lobby of City Hall prior to the ceremony.

Each evening at 4:30 p.m., an additional light will be lit on the square. Friday, the congregation welcomes the public to attend a Chanukkah party at the Abundant Life Church.

Photo by Diane Wilkins
Rabbi Moshe Laurie explains the meaning of Chanukkah during a combine service at Abundant Life Fellowship.