Despite the cold, a record number of people turned up for the Chabad of Islip’s annual Chanukah on Main Street menorah lighting in Brightwaters Sunday evening.

Rabbi Shimon Stillerman, the co-director at Chabad Jewish Center, located in Bay Shore, said the ceremony touched on one of the messages of Chanukah that involves the small jug of oil that was found in the temple.

‘The Maccabees could have waited until they get a larger quantity of oil, and only then proceeded to light up the world with the Menorah,” he said. “They didn’t ask, ‘What can we do with this puny bit of oil?’” Instead they shared with the world the light they had. For us as well today, we all should realize the importance of our small candle. 

“Although that candle alone might seem small and insignificant,” he continued, “still by that candle being shared with another, its impact becomes great. Don’t wait until you feel complete and ready to share goodness with world — begin with the candle you have now.

“And once you light it, you will be amazed to see how much light that small candle can make.”

The Menorah lighting, held at the canal near Main Street in Brightwaters, drew elected leaders from the state, county, town and village levels.

For families, there were hot latkes, donuts, hot chocolate, crafts. live music and balloon twisting. Also among the highlights was a Grand Gelt drop, made possible by the Bay Shore Fire Department.

Harry Ballan, the dean at Touro Law Center, was Sunday night’s official candle-lighter.

He was so honored for his work through the school in assisting with hurricane relief this past year, including hosting a large group of law students from Puerto Rico for for a full semester.

Chanukah started on Dec. 12 and runs through Dec. 20.

Photo Credits: Stacy Sideris Photography