Light and joy: Ridgefield temple lights menorah

Congregation Shir Shalom has a

Congregation Shir Shalom has a "menorah mobile" that has been spreading what Rabbi David Reiner described as the "light and joy" of  Chanukah this year.

Contributted photo / Hearst Connecticut Media

Hanukkah is being celebrated — though a little differently this year — by Ridgefield-based Congregation Shir Shalom.

“We are trying to spread some light and joy at a dark time!” said Rabbi David Reiner.

The eight-day celebration began at sundown Thursday, Dec. 10,

Congregation Shir Shalom has been hosting nightly community menorah lightings, online. It also has a “menorah mobile” that has been visiting congregant homes, and some pop-up appearances of the menorah mobile are also planned.

“Hanukkah is a festival of light,” Rabbi Reiner said. “We add candles each night to brighten the light; we add light to the pervasive physical darkness at this time of year.

“The message of Hanukkah is especially meaningful this year,” he said. “In addition to the physical darkness of the short, dark days of December, there is a lot of other darkness in our world: division, discontent, social injustices, to say nothing of the continuing impacts of a global pandemic and economic crisis.

“We are not able to celebrate together physically in the ways we have celebrated in years past, unable to find comfort in the physical presence of family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. So this year especially we are hoping to spread some light and joy during Hanukkah. “

An appearance by Congregation Shir Shalom’s menorah mobile was planned in Ridgefield’s village commercial district Monday, Dec. 14 — though the appearance, envisioned near Deborah Ann’s chocolates between 3 and 4 p.m., may be postponed until Tuesday due Monday’s weather.

The online Menorah lightings involve a variety of local officials. Retiring Seate Rep. John Frey joined the celebration on Sunday evening, and others taking part include First Selectman Rudy Marconi, Police Chief Jeff Kreitz, State Sen. Will Haskell, and State Rep.-elect Aimee Berger-Girvalo.

“We are thrilled to include local public officials during our Community Menorah Lightings,” Rabbi Reiner said.