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12 tribes of Israel, 2 Old Testament kingdoms, and a 24-foot menorah made out of… Legos?

Have you ever seen a 24-foot Lego menorah? As first reported by Denver7, this incredible feat was accomplished by hundreds of Jewish teen students from all over the Denver metro area, from organizations such as Denver’s National Conference of Synagogue Youth affiliate and Aish of the Rockies, as they commemorated and celebrated the first night of Hanukkah last Sunday.

The holiday, which recalls the miracle of oil as the Maccabees celebrated the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after it was defiled and destroyed, is traditionally celebrated in late December.

Such a massive monument certainly brought people together, said Rabbi Yonaton Nuszen of Denver Jewish Day School. “It’s not about the height — it’s about the unity it created,” he told Denver7. “Our entire Jewish community came together to build this mammoth of a LEGO menorah.”

In fact, in reference to the subject of unity, Catholics ought to remember the watershed document from the Second Vatican Council, Nostra Aetate, a declaration from the recent Ecumenical Council on the Church’s relation to non-Christian religions.

We as Catholic Christians experience a particular closeness to the Jewish people, because of “the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham’s stock” (Nostra Aetate 4). In the words of the Apostle Paul, “theirs is the sonship and the glory and the covenants and the law and the worship and the promises; theirs are the fathers and from them is the Christ according to the flesh” (Rom 9:4-5).

And so, as Catholic Christians we ought to take note of the Church’s reminder, under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit,

God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle. In company with the Prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and “serve him shoulder to shoulder” (Soph 3:9). Since the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is thus so great, this sacred synod wants to foster and recommend that mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit, above all, of biblical and theological studies as well as of fraternal dialogues (Nostra Aetate 4).

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In view of that “mutual understanding and respect,” please join us in congratulating these intrepid teenagers and wishing them, their families, friends and loved ones a very happy, holy and blessed Hanukkah.

André Escaleira, Jr.
André Escaleira, Jr.
André Escaleira is the Digital Media Specialist for the Archdiocese of Denver. Originally from Connecticut, André moved to Denver in 2018 to work as a missionary with Christ in the City, where he served for two years.

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