Celebrating Chanukah

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 10:30 a.m. December 3, 2021

For the first time, a menorah was lit outside 52 Division in the city’s downtown to celebrate Chanukah.

A group of police officers standing in front of large menorah
Rabbi Mendel Chaikin was joined by Superintendent Greg Cole and 52 Division officers in lighting the menorah in front of the police station

According to Jewish tradition, after the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks over 2,000 years ago, there was only enough oil to burn for one day in the Temple. Miraculously the oil burned for eight days. Lighting the menorah commemorates this miracle.

Supt. Greg Cole said his officers were honoured to host the ceremony on December 2, the fifth night of Chanukah, which is celebrated this year from November 28 to December 6.

“Going forward, we hope to make this a yearly event,” said the unit commander. "It's another great way to connect with our community."

Rabbi Mendel Chaikin, who with his wife Chanie opened the Chabad of Downtown in 2005, was happy to see officers celebrating alongside the Jewish community.

He said the lighting of the menorah reinforces a message of light and goodness.

“It’s the message of the good over evil, the few over the many and the weak over the mighty,” he said. “This is a message that we have to shout out loud and clear, especially in this day and age. We have to be strong and keep to our values, to our cultures and to our traditions.”

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