A special Chanukah in El Salvador
It was a very special Chanukah in the emerging Jewish community of Shmaya v’Avtalyon in Armenia, El Salvador, a city not far from the capital, San Salvador.
Beginning with the bar mitzvah of Ariel Guevara, on the first night of Chanukah, where literally lighting the Chanukah candles was his very first mitzvah. Ariel was very excited to celebrate, and it was something truly unique for these small communities such as theirs, where, literally, everyone participates.
Then, to cap off the special Chanukah, our new emmissary, Rabbi Eliahu Franco, arrived just in time for the last night of Chanukah. Everyone in the community came to the synagogue for a special candle lighting ceremony and to honor the new emissary.
The fact that the entire community came out to both special Chanukah events is a true testament to the dedication of the people there, and the importance that their Jewish identity and observance holds in their lives.