Eliott Yurman, a Homewood synagogue Shir Tikvah member, lit the giant menorah in Flossmoor Park on Thursday, Dec. 14, marking the last day of Hanukkah.
An audience of about 20 people watched as Yurman lit the menorah at the guidance of Flossmoor events director Stephanie Wright.
Before the lighting, Flossmoor Mayor Michelle Nelson gave a short speech.
“Happy Hanukkah and welcome to the village of Flossmoor. ‘Last night, best night’ is what we said earlier,” Nelson said. “Thank you so much for coming out. And thank you to everybody who’s been here throughout the past eight nights – to help us celebrate with friends from not just Flossmoor but throughout the southland.”
With a microphone in his hand, Yurman said Flossmoor’s “holiday and faith ceremonies” are “something to be proud of and something to be grateful for.”
Yurman said a candle’s light increases when lit by another candle, attributing this observation to Jewish theologian Moshe Davis.
“When you spread light, it instills light and love in everything you do, touch and encounter. Let’s spread light for peace,” Yurman said.
Yurman tapped each battery-powered candle with another mechanical candle as Wright flipped the switch, causing each light on the menorah to turn on one by one.
In Hebrew, Yurman and audience members sang together, “Blessed are you, Our God, Ruler of the Universe, who makes us holy through Your commandments, and commands us to light the Hanukkah lights.”
A speaker played music. Wright said the musical playlist was curated by Jeffrey Lippert, a Jewish community member who lit the Flossmoor Park menorah in 2022.
“What was really neat about this event was that you had folks from several different faith groups that came together to support our Jewish residents,” Nelson said.
Yurman said part of why he’s participated in the event was to “keep our traditions alive” and “pass onto those who aren’t familiar and those who are.”
“It’s all about faith, community and what Flossmoor offers us,” Yurman said.
“I’ve enjoyed all the people who came out and lit the Menorah,” Wright said, referring to all eight days of Hanukkah. “It was really lovely.”