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Hanukkah candles lit by Western Wall
Jewish Festival of Lights celebrated every afternoon at holy site in Old City of Jerusalem, where large menorah is lit right before sunset
VIDEO Hanukkah – the Jewish holiday of light, of miracles, commemorating the courage and bravery of the Maccabees – is celebrated every afternoon by the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, where a large menorah is lit right before sunset.

 

"It's a very symbolic day of the freedom of the Jewish people," says Prime Minister's Office Director-General Harel Locker. "All the Jewish people are united around the world, lighting the hanukkiyah, and this place is the heart of the Jewish people."

 

Video courtesy of jn1.tv (Reporter: Sivan Raviv)

 

According to Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, "This holiday teaches us that a little bit of light repels a lot of darkness, that it's possible to enlighten the whole world. You can create a nation of light, of hope, of faith, and even if we are few, we can win over the many."

 

As in most Jewish holidays, on Hanukkah too there are valuable lessons to be learnt from the ancient Jewish stories.

 

"One lesson from the lighting of candles of Hanukkah is that every day we add a candle," says Jerusalem resident Mendal Osdoba. "This teaches us that in Judaism you have to progress, keep on going, not to be satisfied with what he did yesterday.

 

"A lot of people light the candles on the window, outside, not on the inside. This teaches us it's not enough to be Jewish in the house, you also have to be Jewish outside, when you walk in the street to behave like a Jew and also spread the Judaism to other Jews, help other Jews on the street."

 

"It's the light that connects all the Jewish people together," says another Jerusalem resident, Jeff Stuna. "It's like the connection between the spirit and the physicality, and the Greeks tried to bring only the physicality into the world and darken the spiritual value from the people of Israel, and we show that we could connect in the proper way.

 

"The menorah shinning outside so that everyone can see, it's like connecting your house from inside to the outside, something beautiful to see all the Jewish people lighting up the night together."

 

Israelis and tourists alike arrive here at the holiest site to Jews from all around the world, to pray by the Western Wall, to witness the religious blessings and ceremony, and perhaps pray for their own personal Hanukkah miracle as well.

 

"I came here tonight to watch the lighting," says local resident Negina Attar. "There are so many people here and we're all watching them light the menorah. It's a very special time for us, when the miracles happen and we celebrate. We're having parties and eating special foods."

 

Following the lighting, hundreds celebrated and danced by the wall.

 

 


First published: 12.01.13, 15:10
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