The “Beyond The Flame” Chanukah program, presented by Merkos 302, challenged viewers of all ages and backgrounds to see the flames of the Menorah as a message of something deeper.
Suzanne* eases herself into the recliner situated in the main lobby and begins to drift off. Out of the corner of her eye she notices the electric Menorah that the senior care facility staff had so thoughtfully put up along with the other holiday decorations.
Her mind wanders to a time not so long ago when her grandchildren, nieces, and young friends would gather in her room and share the joy of Chanukah with her. A feeling of loneliness engulfs her.
That was just one year ago… but this year is different. The no visitor policy was still being strictly enforced.
Suddenly her eyes flutter open and she hears a loud “Happy Chanukah Friends”. She looks around the room to locate the source of this unexpected greeting and her gaze is fixed on the TV screen up ahead. For 60 minutes she is transported to a different place as she watches the “Beyond The Flame” program.
As the presentation comes to an end, she feels empowered, inspired, and most of all connected.
What was behind the creation of this one of a kind virtual Chanukah event?
The staff of the Moshiach campaign division of Merkos 302 were challenged to bring a poignant message of Moshiach, a Chanukah celebration, and creative Jewish entertainment to the masses with social restrictions in place.
They found the answer in the event they called: ‘Beyond The Flame’.
“The warmth of the Menorah,” explains Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, executive director of Merkos 302, “Is something that could shine a bright light for many individuals, especially seniors, who are feeling alone and disconnected this Chanukah.”
The hour long video presentation challenged viewers of all ages and backgrounds, to see the flames of the Menorah as a message of something deeper. A message from the future.
This was relayed through a diverse group of presenters, each with their own life story, experience, and call to action. A living and breathing Menorah; unique and different at the top but all stemming from the same root.
The virtual program, aired by some 500 Chabad centers across the globe, was well received as the message resonated with everyone who watched it.
Shlucha Mrs. Pearl Krasnjansky from Chabad of Hawaii relates, “We thought it was an exceptional program, and it included a variety of presenters with meaningful messages. People in our community loved it! As a matter of fact, we were so happy with it that we ended up airing it three times. “
It wasn’t just communities who were intrigued by what an artist, rap singer, lecturer, ambassador, basketball player, food blogger had to share about Moshiach and their own personal talents, the message was taken to Suzzane and thousands of others who were more alone than ever before.
Shluchim affiliated with the Chabad On Call network arranged for the program to be aired at dozens of medical and senior facilities across the world with a unique presentation geared solely for those struggling with physical ailments and challenges.
Gary Rosenthal, a sculptor and recent cancer recoverer, shared his feelings. “Like the menorah that has eight separate lights that are all part of one menorah, the strength of my community, helped me to recover.” He also made an appearance on the program specifically for the Chabad On Call edition of Beyond The Flame
And shine it did.
Thousands of people tuned in to view this program in one way or another. Each one left feeling entertained, empowered and invigorated to usher in their own personal redemption today!
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