Ukraine’s Jews Celebrate Hanukkah

Stand for Israel  |  December 19, 2022

Hanukkah menorah in Kyiv, Ukraine on December 18, 2022
(Photo: twitter/LGaladza

As the ongoing war in Ukraine continues, the Jewish community left behind in the country’s ravaged capital of Kyiv showed their determination by celebrating the first Hanukkah since the conflict began earlier this year. i24News reports on the Ukrainian Jews who gathered to celebrate the Festival of Lights even during this time of darkness:

War-weary Jews in Ukraine gathered Sunday night for prayers and candlelight vigils for the start of the Hanukkah holiday, vowing to defy the blackouts caused by persistent Russian bombardment.

In Kyiv’s famous Independence Square, also known as Maidan, worshipers huddled together for warmth near what authorities say is “the largest menorah” (a nine-branched candelabrum) of Hanukkah in Europe, 39-feet high.

“We light a small candle, but if you light it in the darkest room, a small candle is able to repel a lot of darkness. I tell the Ukrainian people that every day we are the light and we repel a lot of darkness,” said Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Moshe Reuven Azman.

“Given the tumult in the Ukrainian capital following the Russian bombardment, the candlelight in the Menorah stands out even more and symbolizes more than anything that light wins against darkness,” said Rabbi Meir Stembler…

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