Letter to the editor 3, Dec. 10, 2020
A Love letter to the Town of Hudson on Chanukah 2020
‘How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,’ borrowed from Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Were it not for our ultra-observant health precautions, I’d be out in the streets this holiday season hugging the past and present Hudson mayors, councillors, administrators, Hudsonites, and even them strangers that ride through town.
Thank God that my ‘hugs’ are an attachment to nearly 50 ‘golden years’ of living as a visible Jewish Hudsonite who continues to receive love, strength and support from the community. The fact that husband Marcel Braitstein shares this story is a blessing. Braitstein is a WW II child survivor.
I do not know if my urge to write a love letter to ‘Everything Hudson’ is due to age, stage, COVID-19 environment, all of the above or something other. I do not want to miss the opportunity to hand over to Hudson what belongs to Hudson – the Hudson Chanukah Menorah story. Menorah is the Hebrew word for candelabra. The Chanukah holiday is also known as the festival of lights.
In the 1970s, when my children were young, Chanukah in Hudson meant visiting their classes at local schools to tell the Chanukah story. Fast forward. About 11 year ago a Chabad Jewish Community Centre and synagogue was established in Saint-Lazare. The Chabad organization is known for lighting large outdoor electrical menorahs on Chanukah. The municipality that welcomed the Chabad Chanukah menorah event was the Town of Hudson.
Two years ago, Mayor Jamie Nicholls invited Hudsonite Marcel Braitstein to create a Chanukah menorah specifically for Hudson. We (Marcel and I) like to describe the project as, “a menorah by the people for the people.” Braitstein is a sculptor. He accommodated the Chanukah lighting program within the virtue of a sculpture. Hence, we say it is ‘a sculpture-menorah.’
It stands as evidence of a love story in Hudson.
The storyline is about celebrating Chanukah and Christmas in Hudson. For the past nine years, a Chanukah Menorah and a Christmas tree stood side by side. The underlying theme is about loyalty and an unspoken commitment between the Christian town folks and their Jewish counterparts.
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,” said Elaine Steinberg
The Braitstein sculpture-menorah is on display at Hudson Community Centre. All nine lights will be on as of the last day of Chanukah on December 18.