In first, German chancellor to attend public Hanukkah menorah lighting

Olaf Scholz's attendance along with other senior German officials in the traditional event in Berlin takes place amid rising antisemitism across Europe; Scholz becomes the highest-ranking German leader ever to participate in a public Hanukkah menorah lighting

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will participate in the lighting of the largest Hanukkah menorah in Europe for the first time on Thursday at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. Scholz will likely be the highest-ranking German leader ever to participate in a public Hanukkah menorah lighting.
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The event is taking place on the first night of Hanukkah in Brandenburg Gate square, where thousands of Jews from across Germany will gather led by the city's rabbi and Chabad emissary, Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal. Several senior officials from across Germany’s political sphere are also scheduled to participate in the ceremony.
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אולף שולץ קנצלר גרמניה
אולף שולץ קנצלר גרמניה
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
(Photo: Andreas Gora - Pool/Getty Images)
The large menorah has been set up every year for the past 20 years at the famous gate, which has become one of Germany's national symbols and was previously a symbol of Nazi victory after they came to power.
Scholz's attendance, which is causing much discussion in Germany, will be the first time a German chancellor has participated in the significant Jewish event. The Hanukkah lighting in Berlin will take place against the backdrop of the war in Gaza and the increasing antisemitic sentiment in Germany and other countries worldwide.
Alongside Scholz, dozens of ambassadors, including the Israeli and American ambassadors, the president of the German Parliament, and other senior officials, will also attend. "This year marks exactly 50 years since we received a directive from the Lubavitcher Rebbe to place public Hanukkah menorahs everywhere we could," Rabbi Teichtal said.
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הדלקת נר ראשון בשער ברנדנבורג שבברלין
הדלקת נר ראשון בשער ברנדנבורג שבברלין
Hanukkah menorah in Berlin
(Photo: Refael Herlich)
"We can see clearly how placing these menorahs contributes to spreading light, hope and security – both for Jews and for citizens of the world. Placing these Hanukkah menorahs, this year and particularly here with us, has significant historical meaning," he added.
The rabbi added that "the Chancellor's attendance is the clearest expression of his support for the Jewish people as a whole and for Israel in particular. Since the Holocaust, Germany has been at the forefront of supporting Israel and the Jewish people among European countries."
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