A Canberra Chanukah

December 21, 2014 by Roz Tarszisz
Read on for article

For the first time ever, a menorah was lit in the ACT Parliament this week to celebrate the eight-day festival of Chanukah.

 

Mr Andrew Wall MLA, Rabbi Shmueli Feldman, Mr Jeremy Hanson MLA - Leader of the Opposition, Ms Vickie Dunne MLA - Speaker of the House, Rebbetzin Pnina Feldman, Rabbi Pinchus Feldman OAM, Mr Alistair Coe MLA Deputy Leader OTO. Photo credit, Adam Hyman.

Mr Andrew Wall MLA, Rabbi Shmueli Feldman, Mr Jeremy Hanson MLA – Leader of the Opposition, Ms Vickie Dunne MLA – Speaker of the House, Rebbetzin Pnina Feldman, Rabbi Pinchus Feldman, Mr Alistair Coe MLA Deputy Leader OTO. Photo credit, Adam Hyman.

 

The event was attended by members of Canberra’s Jewish community and representatives from Canberra’s major faith groups and community organisations. ACT politicians from both sides of Government were present as well as members of diplomatic corps including Israel, Argentina, Romania, Hungary and Laos.

The formalities commenced with MC Rabbi Shmueli Feldman, praying for the victims  of the terror attack in Sydney and prayers for the survivors and all those affected. He spoke of how events like this can in part be answered by adding light, goodness and kindness.

Rabbi Feldman also gave a brief introduction to the ceremony and festival of Chanukah and welcomed his parents who had come from Sydney to be a part of the historic event.

Rabbi Pinchas Feldman Head of Chabad NSW then gave an invocation prayer highlighting how lucky we are to live in Australia and urged all Australians to strive to live peacefully together.

Boys' choir    Photo: Adam Levy

Boys’ choir Photo: Adam Hyman

Harry Chaim Oppermann, Jewish representative to the Canberra Interfaith Forum, read out a greeting from the Prime Minister.

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition Mr Alistair Coe, who helped facilitate the initiative, spoke of the significance of all the different faith groups coming together in a show of unity and togetherness to celebrate shared values.

The Speaker of the House, Ms Vickie Dunne MLA welcomed everyone to the Legislative Assembly and congratulated the organisers of the historic event which brought together many people from diverse backgrounds.

The Speaker extolled the virtues of Judah the Maccabi in his heroic and courageous leadership during the Jewish revolution at that time in ancient Israel and the significance of eight candles on the Menorah.

Mr Jeremy Hanson MLA, Leader of the Opposition, thanked both Rabbi Feldmans for their moving words and said how delighted he was to extend greetings on such a momentous and unique occasion. He spoke of how the shared values of common good and spreading light are crucial to a secure future for all Australians.

The Canberra Jewish Children’s Choir sang a spirited rendition of Maoz Tzur.

A Chanukah Fair will be held at Westfield Belconnen at 5.30pm on Monday 22nd December.

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