Hanukkah starts Thursday, more complicated amid the pandemic

It's been nine months since the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Michigan. With the first vaccine doses expected to arrive in Michigan next week, life has been dramatically changed but continues. As do celebrations, like Hanukkah.

Thursday marks the first night of Hanukkah, the festival of lights. It's a tie for Jews for reinstill their values and symbolized by lighting a menorah for 8 days.

"Hanukkah is a joyous celebration of light," Rabbi G said. "No matter what we go through in life we can breathe in light and dispel darkness."

Rabbi G would typically have had a big celebration but not this year.

"Tonight we would have been surrounded by our family with rows on the menorah," he said. "Tonight my poor wife is going to be alone with her husband."

Rabbi G is keeping his sense of humor and says there will still be Hanukkah services on Zoom and in person at synagogues around the area, with adjustments for health safety.

"Rather than a 6-feet rule, we have a 10-feet rule. Everyone is masked and we have a significant concern for everyone's health," he said.

Rabbi G said the hardest part is being away from friends and family.

"Hanukkah is a story of community and that community is within ourselves and that’s what we travel with even when we can’t travel," he said. 

Another Detroit tradition - Menorah in the D, the lighting of the 26-foot menorah at Campus Martius will be livestreamed at Menorahinthed.com.