Opinion: Chanukah Celebrations Shine Bright, Despite Suffocating COVID Restrictions

Americans celebrating Chanukah are getting extra creative this year in a COVID climate. But just because governors are pushing countless crazy regulations, that isn’t stopping people from enjoying their eight crazy nights.

A popular Keystone State center for Jews of all backgrounds is featuring an ambitious Chanukah schedule, much to the delight of residents. In years past, Chabad of the Main Line, located in Merion Station, Pennsylvania has always offered fun, interactive Chanukah activities to the community. In 2020, they’re still doing big things, despite the overreach of big government.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf lowered the boom on citizens once again last week. Wolf issued a mandate eliminating indoor dining, and after-school sports. The liberal Democrat also called for limiting indoor events to no more than ten people, while outdoor gatherings are not to exceed fifty people.

Many Pennsylvanians are outraged, especially since these new restrictions are expected to be in place through January 4, 2021. Terrible timing considering Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve/Day all take place before these unconstitutional bans are lifted.

Undeterred, the amazing Chabad of the Main Line is showing everyone what it means to never give up hope even in tough times, a perfect Chanukah message. Instead of letting the woes of 2020 box them up, Chabad of the Main Line is thinking out of the box to bring joy to many people.

Last Thursday, the first night of Chanukah, the organization held a car menorah parade. The free event featured dozens of vehicles driving through suburban Philadelphia with impressive LED menorahs on their roofs. From smaller, hot pink menorahs to bigger, brighter models, the parade brought much joy to those who witnessed it.

The parade finished up at a shopping center with a huge outdoor menorah lighting. The spirit of Chanukah permeated throughout the neighborhoods. Shouting, cheering, clapping, and dancing filled the roads, driveways, and front yards.

Three nights later, Chabad of the Main Line kept the festivities rolling. A huge, drive-in festival was held to celebrate night four of Chanukah. The group followed the government guidelines by having all participants remain in their cars throughout the evening. People clearly enjoyed themselves, despite being restricted to their vehicle cabins.

Hot dogs, donuts, and pretzels were delivered to each vehicle. Holiday music blasted throughout the program. There were dancing dreidels, trivia games, and a huge screen filled with various entertainment. Revelers had a blast, all from the comfort of their cars. Many of those cars visibly rocked as kids and adults jumped up and down and danced inside them. Arms, hands, flags, and even little kids popped out of moon roofs. Chanukah 202-style was on full display.

The first-ever drive-in event for Chabad of the Main Line also included a watch giveaway, car window decorating, and a concert. The main event, of course, was the lighting of a huge menorah, commemorating night four of the celebration.

Clearly, Americans want to get back to enjoying their freedom. Chabad of the Main Line members and Jews across the country are looking forward to indoor, face-to-face Chanukah celebrations in the years to come. For now, however, people of faith are making the best of things in a less than perfect situation.

A lot of things in 2020 have been ruined for a lot of people. We need more positivity. We need to keep hope alive. Chabad of the Main Line is showing the world that the festival of lights can not be extinguished by any virus or any politician.
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