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At sundown on the first night of Hanukkah, people all over the area light menorahs. - www.sorrentosweets.com

At sundown on the first night of Hanukkah, people all over the area light menorahs.

It's WLS in Chicago. A lot of people in the Chicago area are having fun on Thursday, which is the first night of Hanukkah 2023.

At sunset, hundreds of people are planning to gather at Chabad of Northbrook to publicly mark the start of the holiday.

As Jews get ready to enjoy the festival of lights, rabbis said that this year's holiday is especially important.

Rabbi Meir Moscowitz, regional head of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois, said, "Unfortunately, there's a lot of darkness and negativity in the world. The message of Hanukkah is that we shouldn't hide, we should shine."

Rabbi Moscowitz is getting his community ready by giving them a message of hope.

"People want to know what they can do. "What can I do to be proud of my race and who I am?" he asked. "I like to zoom in on the message of the power of light over darkness."

There are more and more deaths in the Israel-Hamas war in the Middle East, and no one knows when peace will come. Rabbi Moscowitz tells his congregation to be proud of their Jewish history.

"We want to go out and be proud of who we are, of what we are, light the Menorah both in public and at home," he stated.

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