Prime Minister lights the Shammos

December 14, 2015 by Henry Benjamin
Read on for article

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lit and held the Shammos in Sydney’s Central Synagogue before declaring that the message of Chanukah is not confined to the Jewish community…

Cantor Shimon Farkas, Rabbi Levi Wolff and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull holding the Shammos Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

Cantor Shimon Farkas, Rabbi Levi Wolff and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull holding the Shammos Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

Cantor Shimon Farkas used the Prime Minister’s Shammos to  light he menorah in front of 500 members of the community.

Introducing the Prime Minister, the Central’s spiritual leader Rabbi Levi Wolff said: “The Menorah is a symbol reminding us that light outshines darkness and every Menorah has a Shammos which is one candle which sits marginally above the rest of the candles and is used to ignite all the other candles.  Each candle we light encourages us to do more than what we did yesterday. Addressing the Prime Minister, he said: “To us, you are our Shammos. You keep the 24 million candles in this nation representing the population sparkling and shining.” Rabbi Wolff went on to describe the Prime Minister as “one of the dearest and most compassionate friends of the people of Israel”.

Turnbull opened his address by saying that there were members of the Central community whom he had known most of his life adding “I can’t tell you how happy I am to be your Prime Minister.”

Signalling the end of the mining boom and the boom to come in innovation, Turnbull said that the boom to come is based on a path that Israel has trodden for us and set such a great example. He said: “It is a boom which is limited only by our imagination and our determination…the IT boom.”

Political spin? Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spins the dreidel. Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

Political spin? Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spins the dreidel. Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

Mentioning optimism, commitment, persistence resilience as the qualities on which  Australia’s future will be built Turnbull said: “They are the very qualities that we celebrate in Chanukah. The message of Chanukah is a message for all of humanity. The lights of Chanukah light up not just the Jewish world but the whole world.”

Turning to the modern-day threat of terrorism, the Prime Minister Turnbull said: “There is no greater responsibility on my shoulders than defending the security and the safety of Australians. Every day that is in the forefront of my mind. We are very alert to the challenges we face.The  challenge of extremism…the extremist Islamist terrorism.”

He pointed out that tomorrow is the anniversary of the Lindt Café siege…”a reminder of how terrorism is not something that only occurs on other places. Terrorism can happen right here.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addresses the Central Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addresses the Central Photo: Henry Benjamin/J-Wire

Talking of the  high level of a risks of a terrorist attack Turnbull commented: “We stand up to this threat not wringing our hands, not frightened…because that’s what the terrorists want us to be. They want us to change the way we live. They want us to change our values. They want us to turn on each other. They want the majority of the population to turn on the Muslim community in Australia. We should do none of that. We have to remain a strong united multicultural society standing up for our values. Strength and courage will overwhelm  the fear that these terrorists try to inspire in us. We are too strong for them and we will always be too strong for them.”

Turnbull said that he spent time in Paris recently discussing security issues with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

On local security issues, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that within months “we will have laws both at State and Federal level that is a person is sent to jail for a terrorist offence continuing to be radicalised, continuing to be threat to society that can be detained indefinitely until such time as a court considers them no longer a threat.”

Following his address, the Prime Minister sat down  with a group of children to try his luck at playing with draidels.

Rabbi Levi Wolff told J-Wire: “He scored a few gimmels.”

Comments

4 Responses to “Prime Minister lights the Shammos”
  1. Miriam Weinstein says:

    No comment on how the Menorah was lit at 3.00 pm??
    Totally against the Halacha.

    Is Central becoming a Reform/Conservative Temple under Rabbi Levi Wolff?

    How sad

  2. harry rich says:

    We are indeed lucky that we have a Prime Minister who strongly acknowledges his friendship with the Jewish people not only in Australia but world wide .
    In this respect he reminds me of ex Prime Minister Harper Of Canada who made his friendship with Israel very clear indeed .

    Also I would like Mr Peter Hindrup to make his statement a little more clear.

  3. Peter Hindrup says:

    As a swing voter I wasn’t certain how I rated Malcolm Turnbull. That is whether I would consider voting for the Coalition. All doubt is removed, I will not.

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