Tour of menorah lighting in Hasidic Williamsburg

Tour of menorah lighting in Hasidic Williamsburg

Today I am sharing with you a special moment for me in the Hasidic community, through a little bit of street footage. On Chanukah, for eight nights, all the windows in South Williamsburg light up as families perform the candle lighting ceremonies. In this neighborhood there is usually one menorah for every boy in the family, and there are many children, many boys. So the lights are many and everywhere.

It’s an extraordinary experience to walk the city streets in the winter cold: It’s mostly empty outside, just me and and a fellow wanderer out there. The moment feels so innocent, so unaware of what it looks like from the outside. The quiet, the lights, the lively rituals — it’s a beautiful walk. By capturing this on film I hope to share with you something I find special, and not to be disrespectful of anyone’s privacy. It is, after all, one of very few rituals performed at the window, with the blinds opened, for the world to see.

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