Written by Judy Epstein Friday, 25 December 2009 00:00Some 50 hardy adults and children showed up in front of the Port Washington train station on Sunday night, Dec. 13, to watch as Rabbi Shalom Paltiel, of the Chabad of Port Washington, struggled against wind and rain to light the large outdoor menorah for the third night of Chanukah.
Town Clerk Leslie Gross assisted, holding an umbrella over the rabbi and the reluctant candles.
Other attendees included Michelle Schimel, state assemblywoman; Wayne Wink, Nassau County legislator; Town council members Fred Pollack and Lee Seeman; Police Commissioner Salvatore Zimbardi, outgoing police commissioner Maureen O’Rourke and newly elected commissioner Angela Mullins; school board member Dr. Roy Nelson; and chamber of commerce Co-President Warren Schein.
The rabbi’s first attempts at candle lighting were defeated by gusts of wind strong enough to turn umbrellas inside out, and a steady, cold rain.
Eventually, patience – and a bigger torch – prevailed and the flames were finally lit, signifying the victory of light over darkness – and, in this case, over the elements as well. Oblivious to the weather, on-lookers enjoyed hot coffee, latkes and jelly donuts. Some even danced, to music provided by keyboardist Sholom Schocket.
Tents were provided by the Town of North Hempstead’s Parks Department; lighting by the fire department’s rescue truck; and coffee donated by Starbucks. The lift used for lighting the menorah was provided by Able Equipment again this year. The menorah was erected with labor donated by the Maura Brothers landscaping company.
The remaining lights will be lit every evening at 5 p.m. through Friday, the 18th.