Following the first ever public menorah lighting in Gresham, Oregon, the local newspaper reported on the lighting on their front page. When shliach Rabbi Avrohom Dyce saw it, he couldn’t help but notice the neighboring report, which reminded him of a sicha of the Rebbe.
While preparing for the first ever Menorah lighting in Gresham, Oregon, new shliach Rabbi Avrohom Dyce reached out to local media, asking them to write an article about the event.
The Gresham Outlook newspaper, which serves the communities of Gresham, Sandy and Estacada, proceeded to interview Rabbi Dyce about Chanukah and their public Menorah lighting. During the interview, Rabbi Dyce shared the history of the Chanukah campaign, which was started by the Rebbe in 5734, and currently spans the entire world. He asked that the reporter include a picture of the Rebbe with the article.
The newspaper proceeded to print the interview on the front page, with a large photo of the Rebbe printed on the back page with the continuation of the article.
Ironically, right next to the article about Chanukah on the first page of the newspaper, was an article about how the Gresham Middle School was forced to return to online classes as students struggle with returning to in-person classes. The article reported that the school was forced to return to remote distance learning as students, having spent most of last year studying online, have lately been struggling to socialize properly again with “regular outbursts in the classroom and fighting in the halls”.
Rabbi Dyce shared with Anash.org that in one of the sichos regarding Mivtza Chanukah the Rebbe spoke of the power of the Chanukah Menorah to have an effect also on the nations of the world. The Rebbe said that public Menorah lightings should be utilized to arouse the many non-Jews in attendance about the Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach.
In other sichos, the Rebbe explained at length that the fulfillment of Sheva Mitzvos, and knowledge that there is a Super Being that we are all accountable to, is the anecdote to juvenile delinquency and crime in general.
“The Rebbe taught us,” Rabbi Dyce told Anash.org, “how important it is to utilize the media as a medium to spread kedusha in places that are possibly unreachable by other means. Many newspapers are waiting to run a story and will do so if someone reaches out to them. They may just need to be asked and many will be happy to even print a picture of the Rebbe in it.”
During the Menorah lighting celebration, which was attended by city officials and over 100 people, Rabbi Dyce honored one of the attendees to read the letter the Rebbe wrote in 5741 “To all participants in the public Menorah lightings in the U.S.A” and distributed copies of it to all of the participants to follow along as it was being read.
Following the event he received the following message from the lady who was honored to read the letter: “Thank you Rabbi Dyce. It was such an honor to read the Rebbe’s letter for all to hear. I absolutely related to the content of the Rebbe’s letter. Whenever I read the Rebbe’s words I find that they provide me with so much wisdom and meaning.”
Anash.org has learnt that many shluchim have started incorporating honoring a member of the community to read out the Rebbe’s letter at their Menorah lightings and have seen this to be a very successful way to connect their community to the Rebbe and his teachings.
Enable the new shluchim to bring the Rebbe and Yiddishkeit even more to East County Oregon at: www.jewishgresham.com/donate