Fifth Night of Chanukah at the Western Wall Plaza
This evening (Thursday) the fifth Chanukah candle was lit at the Western Wall Plaza in the presence of: The Rishon LeZion, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar; the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz; Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu and Mrs. Sarah Netanyahu; members of the Likud faction; the director of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, Mr. Harel Goldberg, and the public.
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation:
Tens of thousands of Jews from around the world watched the Chanukah candle-lighting every evening from their homes. Despite the physical distance, the uniqueness and unity of the Jewish nation was maintained as all its tribes unite like one flame burning toward heaven and illuminating the entire world. From here, the remnant of our Temple, the Jews of the diaspora were blessed that we unite together around the light of Jerusalem – “For from Zion shall go forth the Torah and the world of G-d from Jerusalem.”
The Rishon LeZion and chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar:
This light was anointed by the High Priest in the Temple. It is from the same oil used to anoint all the high priests, the Tabernacle, and its utensils. This light speaks to us, like these stones that are witnesses to the prayers of generations upon generations, pleading before the Blessed be He. The Divine Presence has never left this place.
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz:
There is a blessing recited on Chanukah not only for the person who lights the menorah but also for someone who sees the candles, even if he did not light them himself. This is to teach us that if a person is happy about someone else’s light, he deserves a blessing. On this holiday, the Jewish nation must search for unity and see others’ light, just as the Hasmoneans’ light shined on us for generations, during bad times and good times, and then we will be worthy of blessing.
Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu:
We are a small nation but with huge strengths. The miracle of Chanukah that first of all purified our Temple was even more than that – it attained our independence. The Maccabees did not suffice with only protecting the Jewish Torah, they wanted independence for the nation and the Land of Israel. Two thousand years later and we have not surrendered the dream to renew our national, cultural, and free lives in our only land and our eternal capital – Jerusalem, Zion. And we created again, with tremendous will power, the second Chanukah miracle. We established the State of Israel. We will accumulate these strengths and together we will guarantee the eternality of Israel.
Mr. Harel Goldberg:
Lighting the menorah expresses the national victory and the return of sovereignty that came about thanks to the courage and faith of the Maccabees along with the spiritual significance of the Jewish nation, and the special light it was meant to spread around the world. Without ignoring constructive and respectful criticism, we must continue to strengthen the institution of the chief rabbinate and its place in Israeli society for the good of strengthening the State of Israel’s Jewish identity and values, while bringing about closeness and unity in the nation.
Photo credit: The Western Wall Heritage Foundation