Menorah unveiled at North Manchester General Hospital as part of Chanukah celebrations
A 3ft menorah was unveiled at North Manchester General Hospital to mark the start of Chanukah. The lighting of the menorah is the main tradition of the festival and represents a miracle where a small pot or ‘cruse’ of oil burned beyond its one day lifespan for an additional week.
Medical director of North Manchester Care Organisation Prof Matt Makin spoke about why the organisation wanted to do something to mark the festival. He said: “We aim to reflect the community which we serve. We have the largest Jewish Orthodox community outside London, and we want to do this is a meaningful way. This small celebration is the start of something we want to grow here at North. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive organisation that welcomes and is respectful of all faiths and beliefs and people.”
North Manchester Care Organisation’s community links led to North Manchester General Hospital being included in a community Eruv earlier in 2019.
Those visiting the site will notice a thin wire at the top of strategically placed columns, including the hospital within the eruv boundary. Jewish law (halakha) prohibits certain activities from happening on the Jewish holy day of prayer or day of rest, known as Shabbat, unless it is within the Eruv. Carrying objects or pushing a pram would not be possible outside of an Eruv on Shabbat for strictly observant members of the Jewish community.
The eruv adds to the work already happening to respect differing faiths and build strong relations with the community. There is a new Muslim prayer room at the hospital and work is ongoing to ensure differing beliefs are reflected in end of life care. Chanukah which derives from a Hebrew verb meaning ‘to dedicate’ began on Sunday 22nd December at sunset, and ends Monday 30th December at nightfall. It is also known as the Festival of Lights.