A festive and special candle-lighting ceremony took place this evening (Sunday) in the Western Wall Tunnels with the delegation of the United States National Security Council. The ceremony took place in the presence of: Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman, rabbi of Migdal Haemek; Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and holy sites; Mordechai (Suli) Eliav, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation; Ambassador David Friedman, U.S. ambassador to Israel; Robert O’Brien, United States National Security advisor; Mr. Robert Greenway, deputy assistant to the President of the United States; Brig. Gen. Miguel Correa, assistant to the President; and Meir Ben Shabbat, Israel’s National Security Advisor. They were all taken on a tour of the new excavations in the Western Wall Tunnels where they encountered Jerusalem’s glorious past and the deep connection between the Jewish nation and its capital.
Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz greeted the U.S. delegation and said,
“Members of the delegation, Mr. Ambassador, I wish to take advantage of this opportunity to thank you and United States President Donald Trump, whom you represent, in the name of the entire Jewish nation, for the great light you have brought to this country and to the entire world over the past four years. It is a light of historic justice and of simple truth that believes in the power of good and in the obligation placed upon each and every one of us to do everything so that good defeats evil and light defeats darkness. The story goes that President Lincoln once said, ‘Sir, my concern is not whether G-d is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on G-d’s side, for G-d is always right.’ May we always be on G-d’s side and be loyal emissaries to spread the light and the goodness from the Land of Israel around the entire world.”
Robert O’Brien, United States National Security director said,
“I’ve had the opportunity to come back as a tourist and as a government official many times, and every time you come here you feel a very special spirit…For our family, Jerusalem is a very wonderful, special, meaningful place. And to be here on Chanukah, and to be here at a time that peace is breaking out… with Morocco, Bahrain and the Emirates…These are things we didn’t think we’d hear in our lifetime…I bring you greetings and blessings from President Trump, Vice President Pence…and the many friends that you have in the United States. And the next time we’re having a Passover seder… and we hear ‘Next year in Jerusalem,’ this is the place I’ll think of, this spot right here.”
U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Mr. David Friedman said,
“This is not the first time I’ve been here and it’s not the second, but it never gets old. I’ve been here with the President of the United States, the Vice President…I’m sure I’m missing half the cabinet. We love Jerusalem. And we don’t just say it. You can see it in our actions. And it’s not just recognizing Jerusalem and moving the embassy, but when anyone has a moment, you see they come to Jerusalem. You’ll see in the next month, more and more people coming to Jerusalem. The heart of Jerusalem is the heart of the United States. We’re together in this. It’s something we’re joined in. The values that come from Jerusalem are the same values that formed the United States and motivate the State of Israel. We’re brothers and sisters, and we’ll keep coming here as long as you’ll have us.”