Monday just shortly before sunset was perfect Hanukkah weather.
So says Rabbi Shalom Bochner, who, for the second straight year, brought his traveling menorah to Manteca in celebration of Day 3 of the Festival of Lights.
Plenty of local folks along with those from his Congregation Beth Shalom braved the chilly conditions at Library Park, lighting the Day 3 menorah candle.
The children played with their dreidel – a four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side – to along with their chocolate gelt or coins.
Those in attendance also sang along to some 18 different tunes led by Rabbi Shalom on guitar as temperatures dipped to 47 degrees.
“Hanukkah is a winter holiday,” he said. “It’s eight days and (is celebrated) when the day begins at sunset.”
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire some 2,000 years ago.
Rabbi Shalom and his traveling menorah will spend Day 4 of the Festival of Lights at McHenry Village (Modesto) followed by stops in Turlock, Oakdale and back to Modesto during the next few days.
He was pleased with the turnout in Manteca.
“We had 40 people show up today – two-thirds live right here,” Rabbi Shalom said.
By contrast, last year’s Hanukkah event in Manteca was held behind city hall in front of a sparse group. “I don’t think people knew where to find us,” he added.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.