First public Menorah lighting in Paddington
Since its establishment in the mid 1800’s, there has never been a public Menorah lighting held in Paddington…until this year.
The Paddington Shteibel of CBDChabad Sydney hosted Paddington’s first Public Menorah Lighting with some 50 members of the Sydney Jewish community. Members of the community of all ages were welcomed, and enjoyed the beautiful weather, picnic and of course the doughnuts and latkes!
Only a few suburbs away, another momentous Chanukah celebration took place the following evening.
CBDChabad Sydney hosted their fifth annual Public Menorah Lighting at the Sydney Opera House, on the Northern Broadwalk overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Attended by over 250 members of the Sydney Jewish Community and beyond, the atmosphere of the event was one of vibrancy, warmth as well as a strong feeling of genuine Jewish and Australian pride. CBDChabad served traditional Chanukah delicacies such as doughnuts and latkes, and every child received a Chanukah lucky dip. Gift bags were distributed to all attendees filled with Chanukah goodies, but most importantly, the Menorah kit enabled everyone to light their very own Chanukia in their own home.
It was appropriate to host the traditional Chanukah lighting between two of Sydney’s (and the world’s) most iconic landmarks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. These two key landmarks represent modern day Australia and the true Australian values – respect of all peoples and faiths, freedom of religious practise, freedom of speech and true democracy.
Chanukah and the lighting of the Menorah stand for these very ideals. Chanukah commemorates the end of the cruel dictatorship that controlled Israel and its Jewish citizens. Following the war, which was no short of a miracle, those who wished to practice their religion were free to do so, and no longer did people have to hide their Jewish identities.
The festival of Chanukah is an important reminder to us that we are not only Jewish but are also Australian and are truly blessed to live in a country that upholds these ideals. It is a reminder that as Australian Jews, our duty is to respect, promote and uphold these values constantly.
An extra three thousand people witnessed the lighting of the Menorah when a P & O cruise liner floated by right next to the location of the event!
Rabbi Danny Yaffe was truly privileged and honoured to light the Chanukia at one of the most popular landmarks in the world, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.