Hanukkah: See the Lights

Lining the Jerusalem streets on חנוכה. no matter how you spell it, are the Hanukka or Chanukah lights, as we shared last week,

This week’s post is again about lights, the Hanukiot, or Chanukah menorahs as we called the 8-branch candelabras in the United States, whether for candles or olive oil.

There is an electric hanukiah outside Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, again this year.

Off Jerusalem hotel lobbies, there are hanukiot, ornate silver ones, and smaller ones for guests to light each night of Chanuka.

The Begin Center lobby also had a large hanukiah, with sufganiyot, donuts, nearby ready for the second night of Hanuka.

The Jerusalem Cinema City had a large Chabad menorah lit for the fifth night, it seems hundreds of their hanukiot fill the Jerusalem street corners.

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The large one in Mamilla Mall is back with music and a special lighting ceremony each night. I hope to get there for the eighth-night celebrations.

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If you eat in a Jerusalem restaurant, your meal may be delivered to the table only after the candles are lit, and restaurant patrons join in singing along with the staff who light the hanukiah.

But this year I was also in Tel Aviv and saw other hanukiot.

On the bus to the new ANU Museum of the Jewish People, I was impressed by this large billboard with a colorful menorah, selling toothpaste.

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In the museum, were many hanukiot with interesting designs and stories.

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The Statute of Liberty branches has an eagle on top.

Also, an eagle is on top of this 18th-century brass menorah originally in the Great Synagogue on Tlomackie Street, in Warsaw, Poland. The Polish symbol of the eagle was often placed on Judaica as a sign of gratitude and allegiance to the regime of the time.

In 1939, the rabbi and secretary of the synagogue buried the two hanukiot in a secret hiding place. After, they offered to sell the synagogue valuables to raise money for Polish citizens to be saved from the Nazis. Marguerite Wenner Gren of Stockholm bought the menorah for a large sum of money and later donated it to the state of Israel.

The synagogue built in 1878, was destroyed by the Nazis in 1943.

In the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, there is a replica of Shimon Peres’ office, in the display case along with the Nobel Peace Prize medal and soccer ball stands a silver hanukiah.

Being honored to light the Chanuka candles on the second night was a special moment for a Ukrainian mother and her son who found refuge in Israel.

Chabad was at the i24News studio on the fourth night to light the flames with Nitzan Chen, the head of the Government Press Office.

Chabad had more donuts and hanukiot to give away to those of us on the tour who wanted.

Besides the hanukiot and lights, sufganiyot have been seen in abundance – almost everywhere.

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In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the dessert display was hard to resist.

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It was a full and busy week, with highlights I plan to share in the future.

However, finally, I made it home for candle lighting before Shabbat.

The lights shine out to the Jerusalem streets to share the miracle of Chanuka.

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Again this year in Jerusalem, my mother lit the large silver menorah that my father bought many years ago. Yesterday, their neighbor in Virginia mentioned to me how he remembers the light from their menorah lit in the window when they lived across the street – almost 20 years ago.

Happy Hanukkah! חנוכה שמח

May the Hanukkah lights shine brightly.

Near and far, no matter where you are, Chanukah Sameach, Chag Urim Sameach from Jerusalem, Israel. May you see the lights, and have a great year in good health.

Best of Hanukkah in Jerusalem

Hanukkah in Jerusalem, Israel, is celebrated in a big way,

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actually, Hanukkah is celebrated in a huge way.

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This giant chanukiah, Hanukkah menorah, covered in small electric lights,

 is put up each year outside Jaffa Gate.

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Each year there are new kinds of sufaganiot

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and lots of them, as huge quantities are consumed.

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Electric street lights light up the sky at night at this entrance to Begin Highway,

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while others line city streets.

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The Israel Museum is always a popular destination, especially this Hanukkah display.

Of course, 

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colorful candles can be found burning inside homes, 

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and in stores

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and  hotel lobbies. 

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Chanukiot can be found inside office buildings,

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and outside the front doors of homes.

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Candle lighting is often accompanied by live music and dancing,

as here with the new Chabad chanukiah at First Station.

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Lights from the chanukiah on the street corner are reflected in this photo

of an Egged bus with a Hanukkah sameach sign.

Huge crowds and tour groups filled the streets of the Old City,

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as people came from all over to see the candles burning in windows, 

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and scenes such as this man sitting and watching the flames.

To see and to learn and to remember, 

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that a great miracle happened here.

Getting Prepared

At the sound of a siren, students in Jerusalem on Tuesday

went into their schools’ bomb shelters.

The National Emergency Authority held a drill to prepare

in case of a missile attack. Our local bomb shelter was locked.

The drill was called a success, but many people hardly noticed it.

 Monday, thousands gathered at the Kotel, the Western Wall, to pray for rain,

but on Tuesday in the hot sun

was there anyone really prepared with an umbrella?

However, what was very noticeable on the Jerusalem streets,

were the preparations for Chanukah: outside private homes,

over the promenade in Mamilla Mall,

and in displays inside the mall.

Chanukiot, Chanukah menorahs were set up outside the walls of the Old City

and on street corners all around Jerusalem. 

The greengrocer  on Azza Street, 

usually a busy place before a holiday was closed for a funeral,

surprising many who wanted to prepare for Chanukah parties.

The Jerusalem streets were full of harried parents

trying to get themselves, their young children with their works of art

to and from after school parties.

Chag Urim Sameach!