In a world filled with so much darkness, it’s always nice to see a flicker of light.
That was the heartfelt sentiment Chabad of Cary Rabbi Yisroel Cotlar shared with a crowd of more than 200 people last week at the first ever public Menorah lighting in downtown Apex.
Cotlar, with the help of Apex Mayor Pro Tem Gene Schulze, lit the nine-foot high Menorah to mark the sixth night of Hanukkah.
“The world can seem like a dark place at times,” said Cotlar. “The message of Hanukkah is that a little light can dispel a lot of darkness. We are all here to help illuminate the world.”
It was truly an evening of inclusiveness as traditional Jewish songs were sung under the flickering flames of the Menorah, which stood no more than 30 feet away from the Town of Apex’s large Christmas tree.
“It was just a fantastic night,” said Cotlar. “To have so many children here was the important thing. That is what I wanted to see. There was just so much fantastic energy.”
Cary resident Shay Fatal made sure to bring his three young children to the event.
“We are Israeli Jewish and we wanted to be part of this,” said Fatal. “Just being here with so many fellow Jews, it’s nice.”
Herb and Melody Curkin moved to Apex just one year ago and were thrilled when their new hometown agreed to show so much support for the Hanukkah celebration.
“I think this is wonderful for the community,” said Herb Curkin. “We were visiting friends and family in Baltimore but we made sure we were back in time to be here. It’s just something we felt we had to do. I think it’s a wonderful thing to see, especially for all these kids.”
Cotlar also expressed his gratitude to the Town of Apex for joining the growing list of Triangle communities that host public Menorah lightings.
“It’s very meaningful for me and the entire community,” said Cotlar.
Cary resident Morty Berkowitz agreed.
“What the Town of Apex has done is wonderful,” said Berkowitz. “If you don’t have their cooperation then none of this would have happened. This night was very important to the Jewish community and we are very thankful.”