Wednesday evening was a historic day in the history of Montreal Jewry. The honourable mayor Gerald Tremblay hosted a candle lighting ceremony on the first night of Chanukah at City Hall. In attendance were various dignitaries and Rabbinic leaders of the Montreal community.
In his opening remarks, Chief Rabbi of the Beth Din of Montreal Rabbi Y. B. Weiss thanked the Mayor for hosting such a wonderful ceremony and for the kindness he has shown to the community over the past number of years. He praised Mr. Tremblay for his support of the community and wished him continous success as the Mayor of our city.
Rabbi Dovid Cohen of the Rabbinical college of America, who organized this event , explained how Menoros are lit daily all over the world during Chanukah by Lubavitcher emissaries who have lit the flame of Torah throughout the world, especially in remote areas which are not highly populated by Jews.
Montreal City Councillor Applebaum had the honour of lighting the candles on behalf of the city, after the Shammes had been lit by the Mayor himself. The mayor was visibly moved as the ceremony proceeded. In his remarks following the event, he stated that it was his pleasure to host the community at City Hall and that the community should feel welcome to visit at any time. He then added that the contribution that the Jewish community makes to the city, as well as their values, is appreciated. “Your community should continue to speak out and continue upholding these values, as this is the beauty of Montreal, unity amongst diversity.”
After the ceremony, the Rabbinical College of America choir sang the traditional Maoz Tzor, and refreshments were served. The lighting of Chanukah at city hall was a true spreading of the light of Torah to the entire Montreal community.