Wyoming Governor Hosts Menorah Lighting in State Capital

Wyoming’s 14th annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony was held Wednesday, the 4th night of Chanukah, at the state Capitol, organized by shliach Rabbi Zalman Mendelsohn and hosted by Gov. Mark Gordon.

Photos: Judy Myers Photography

Wyoming’s 14th annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony was held Wednesday, the 4th night of Chanukah, at the state Capitol, organized by shliach Rabbi Zalman Mendelsohn and hosted by Gov. Mark Gordon.

Kicking off the event was the Cheyenne Youth Symphony, playing a number of classic Chanukah songs. Rabbi Mendelsohn then got up to speak, starting off with thanking the participants who had gathered for the menorah lighting.

He then presented a metal sculpture of a menorah to Gov. Gordon, thanking him and first lady Jennie Gordon for embodying the “commonality that exists within each and every one of us.”

“There’s so many different paths, so many different lifestyles and so many different political viewpoints,” Rabbi Mendelsohn said in his speech. “There’s a solid gold that brings us all together, with love, with humanity, with character and with a sense that we are all part of the same people of Wyoming.”

Rabbi Mendelsohn also emphasized the need for each and every person to be a shining light in the world. He said that the menorah is a sign of perseverance, the choice of the Jewish people to carry on through years of adversity.

“After so much pain and suffering that the state of Wyoming has been through, the American people have been through, the world over has been through with this terrible endemic, we need more light in the world, especially today,” Rabbi Mendelsohn said.

Gov. Gordon echoed similar sentiments, making a connection to the symbolism of the gold used in a menorah.

“The people that are assembled here are part of our family of Wyoming,” he said. “If there is gold in what we are, that is where the gold is in our family, and that is what holds us together.”

Rabbi Mendelsohn then invited Gov. Gordon and first lady Gordon to the podium to light the ninth candle of the menorah, which sits high in the middle, symbolically known as the candle that lights the rest.

Menorah were also made available for participants to take home.

Following the lighting, bochurim Lazer Oberlander from Budapest, Hungary, and Yisrael Dick from Morristown, New Jersey, who are spending Chanukah in the state on merkos shlichus, broke into a lively dance.

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