Hanukkah at Rabin Square, Tel Aviv
Hanukkah at Rabin Square, Tel Aviv
Photo: Courtesy of Tel Aviv Municipality
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) and United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman lighting the first candle of Hanukkah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

The world lights up with joy for Hanukkah

World leaders shower Jews far and wide with happy wishes for the Festival of Light; countless events across the globe kick-off the eight-day celebration

Ynet |
Published: 12.23.19 , 17:43
Countries and leaders all over the world have joined the international Jewish community to celebrate the festival of lights together.
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  • 11 צפייה בגלריה
    ראש הממשלה, בנימין נתניהו
    ראש הממשלה, בנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) and United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman lighting the first candle of Hanukkah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
    (Photo: The Western Wall Heritage Foundation)
    U.S. President Donald Trump has issued an official, warm holiday greeting to the world's Jewish community in celebration of Hanukkah.
    "As the Jewish community gathers together to celebrate this special and sacred time of year, we are reminded of God’s message of hope, mercy, and love," said Trump in a statement on the White House's website.
    “Throughout the coming eight days, each candle to be lit on the menorah will signal to the world that freedom and justice will always shine brighter than hate and oppression, today, the relationship between the United States and Israel, one of our most cherished allies and friends, is stronger than ever," said Trump, "We will continue to stand with the Jewish people in defending the God-given right to worship freely and openly."
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined President Trump's Hanukkah greetings on his Twitter account.
    "On this first night of Hanukkah, I hope that this Festival of Lights will bring a multitude of blessings upon the Jewish community around the world. Chag Sameach!"
    Boris Johnson, England's recently re-elected prime minister, twitted a short video congratulating the Jewish people on Hanukkah, "to our Jewish friends, neighbors, and relatives, wherever you are around the world, let me wish you a very happy Hanukkah," said Johnson. "There is every reason to be happy at this time of year, after all, quite aside from the joys of latkes and doughnuts…who can argue with a festival where the kids get presents every day for more than a week."
    Johnson also wished to remind the Jewish people, that unlike in the times of the Maccabees, they are not alone and that Britain stands by their people.
    "As you kindle the Hanukkah light tonight, and in the nights to come, remember this - when the Maccabees drove the forces of darkness out of Jerusalem, they had to do so on their own… you have every decent person in this country fighting by your side," Johnson said.
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau uploaded a Hanukkah video of his own, joining the numerous holiday congratulations.
    "Happy Hanukkah, tonight marks the first night of Hanukkah, here at home and around the world Jewish communities will come together to celebrate, as loved ones gather over the next eight nights, they'll light the candles of the Menorah, pray, spin dreidels and celebrate the triumph of light over darkness," said Trudeau. "Here in Canada, it's a chance to recognize the many contributions Jewish Canadians make to our country. Our government will always stand with Canada's Jewish communities, we will continue to speak up against anti-Semitism and hatred in all its forms."
    Trudeau concluded his video with a "Chag Sameach" (happy holiday) greeting in impressively fluent Hebrew.
    Rabbi of the Jewish Community in Wellington, New Zealand Ariel Tal headed the lighting of the first Hanukkah candle ceremony.
    Lighting the first Hanukkah candle in Wellington, New Zealand
    A few hours after New Zealand, the Jewish Agency's emissary to Australia, Yisca Goodman, headed her own Hanukkah ceremony with 300 students, each lighting a first Hanukkah candle on a personal menorah.
    "Australia is a place which really respects other cultures," says Goodman, "There are menorahs everywhere you go, along with doughnuts. Happy holidays to everyone, and may we witness miracles this generation as well."
    Hanukkah in Australia
    London Mayor Sadiq Khan joined the English capital's festivities in celebrating Hanukkah and the lighting of the first candle at Trafalgar Square along with London Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Blue and White MK Pnina Tamano-Shata and thousands of Jews who came to participate in the celebrations.
    "Can I just say how proud I am, as the mayor of London, to be here as we light the menorah with a Christmas tree in front of us in the best square in the world," Khan said. "I know the story of Hanukkah. It's a story of freedom over religious oppression, it’s a story as relevant now 2000 years on as it was when the Maccabees fled persecution because you and I both know there are some people who try to divide us.
    "I want to say thank you to every single Jewish Londoner who helped this city be the greatest city in the world," said Khan.
    Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar lit the first Hanukkah Candle at Moscow's Red Square, at the very feet of the Kremlin, alongside Yaffa Issachar, the mother of Naama Issachar who is serving a 7.5-year prison sentence in Russia over minor drug offenses.
    First candle at Moscow's Red Square
    The Jewish Nasa astronaut, marine biologist, and physiologist, Jessica Meir, joined the festivities from outer space, wishing her followers on Twitter"Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate it on Earth!"
    In the meantime, Chabad erected the world's biggest menorah in Manhattan with the help of 15 construction workers and a truck-mounted construction crane.
    The honor of lighting the first candle of the world's biggest menorah went to Rabbi Shmuel Butman, the director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization in New York for the past three decades.
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    חנוכיית הענק במנהטן
    חנוכיית הענק במנהטן
    Rabbi Shmuel Butman with the world's biggest menorah under construction in Manhattan
    (Photo: Izik Roitman)
    11 צפייה בגלריה
    במנהטן לקחו ברצינות את "לראותם בלבד"
    במנהטן לקחו ברצינות את "לראותם בלבד"
    Rabbi Shmuel Butman with the world's biggest menorah under construction in Manhattan
    (Photo: Izik Roitman)
    The Spanish capital Madrid's young Reform Jewish community celebrated Hanukkah in a humble private venue in one of the community's synagogues after an event that was meant to help bring Palestinians and Israelis together was crashed by Spain's radical left-wing Podemos party.
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    Celebrating Hannukah in Madrid
    Celebrating Hannukah in Madrid
    Celebrating Hannukah in Madrid
    (Photo: Ifat Shomrony & Eyal Ben Zeev: Media, Strategy, Content)

    11 צפייה בגלריה
    Celebrating Hannukah in Madrid
    Celebrating Hannukah in Madrid
    Celebrating Hannukah in Madrid
    (Photo: Ifat Shomrony & Eyal Ben Zeev: Media, Strategy, Content)
    The Hague in the Netherlands also lit a Hanukkah candle at a special ceremony in the presence of the city's Jewish community, Hague Mayor Johan Remkes and the staff of the Israeli embassy and their families.
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    Lighting the first candle of Hannukah at the Hague city hall
    Lighting the first candle of Hannukah at the Hague city hall
    Lighting the first candle of Hannukah at the Hague city hall
    The United Arab Emirates joined the greetings and wished the entire Jewish world a happy Festival of Lights on their UK embassy's Twitter account.
    In the southern West Bank city of Hebron, Border Police troops lit a Hanukkah candle at a ceremony that was made possible thanks to the help of the Kiryat Arba Regional Council.
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    Hanukkah in Hebron
    Hanukkah in Hebron
    Hanukkah in Hebron

    11 צפייה בגלריה
    Hanukkah in Hebron
    Hanukkah in Hebron
    Hanukkah in Hebron

    11 צפייה בגלריה
    Hanukkah in Hebron
    Hanukkah in Hebron
    Hanukkah in Hebron

    11 צפייה בגלריה
    Hanukkah in Hebron
    Hanukkah in Hebron
    Hanukkah in Hebron
    In Tel Aviv, a giant menorah was erected in the middle of Rabin Square and a menorah figure was festively lit on the face of the city hall.
    11 צפייה בגלריה
    Hanukkah at Rabin Square, Tel Aviv
    Hanukkah at Rabin Square, Tel Aviv
    Hanukkah at Rabin Square, Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Courtesy of Tel Aviv Municipality)

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