Eighth Night of Chanukah at the Western Wall Plaza under the theme – Unity and Love among the Jewish People
This evening (Sunday), the last Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony at the Western Wall Plaza for this year was held in the presence of: the rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz; Speaker of the Knesset, Mr. Micki Levi; Minister of Internal Security, Mr. Omer Bar-Lev; Inspector General of the Police, Commander Kobi Shabtai; Israel Police Rabbi Rami Birchiyahu, Fire Chief Dedi Simchi; Assistant Commander of the Jerusalem Region, Eyal Cohen; Chief Rabbi of the Fire and Rescue Services, Rabbi Chaim Pearl; Director-General of the Knesset, Mr. Gil Segel, Director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mr. Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Mr. Eli Escosido, police, firefighters, families and the public.
The eighth and last night of Chanukah was dedicated to the Israel Police who stand strong at the forefront of the battle for Israel’s security and the firefighters whose sacred work safeguards the lives of Israeli citizens. Fire has the power to destroy, but also to illuminate. The eighth candle of Chanukah is under the theme of unity and love among the Jewish nation.
MK Micki Levi:
After a dark period in the history of the Jewish nation, in the last generations, we have been privileged to light a great light in our land. And in order for the great light to continue burning, we must respect the light that each of us brings. The variety of opinions, congregations, and streams in our nation is our strength. Look at the menorah that is illuminating the Western Wall Plaza tonight. Only when together do these eight candles shed a great light. Only together can be succeed as a nation because our strength is in our unity.
Minister Omer Bar Lev:
My father z”l, the eighth IDF chief of staff, liberated Jerusalem and the Western Wall during the Six Day War. So, I feel a great privilege to be here. There is no doubt that our strength is in our unity. We saw yesterday how border police successfully, courageously, and with great determination dealt with a lowly terrorist who attacked a Jew not far from here. We back them and we count on them.
Police Commander Kobi Shabtai:
From this podium, I announce that we fully back the soldiers who aimed for contact and neutralized the terrorist. They are the courageous Maccabees of today. It is clear to all that a strong police force is the guarantee for national strength and security, and it is a guarantee for the fact that also today we can face all the challenges in front of us. During these moments when the Jewish nation is celebrating Chanukah, the entire police network, policemen and policewomen, are spread out around the country to ensure that the Jewish nation can enjoy and celebrate Chanukah. Every Israeli citizen should know that Israel’s police and soldiers are its heroes.
Fire Chief Dedi Simchi:
Israel Fire and Rescue Services acts with determination to allow for maximal safety and security for Israeli citizens while also serving as an essential component in the national security apparatus. We are commanded to preserve the goodness in fire and light for society and for citizens. This is our path and our commitment.
Director-General Mr. Eli Escosido:
I am excited to light the eighth Chanukah candle with you here, at such a spiritual place, a place that is so important to our nation’s history and heritage. The Antiquities Authority recognizes very well what this “here” is. We are here every day, and together with our partners, the staff of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, we reveal every day the hidden treasures underground, strengthening the significance of our being here as Jews. I am proud to be taking part in this process and to be a witness to the exposure and discovery of the heritage of the past.
Enclosed photos, credit: The Western Wall Heritage Foundation