….and on the last day of Chanukah

December 30, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Messages from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin…and The Melbourne Cricket Ground.


Benjamin Netanyahu and Prime Minister’s Office staff. Photo: Koby Gideon (GPO)


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his staff and their families: “I tell all of the adorable boys and girls here, and the employees of our office, we bring much light to the State of Israel. If the Maccabees who fought for our existence almost 2,000 years ago could have looked forward and seen that their descendants would establish a state that is now ranked as the eighth strongest in the world and that countries ranked above us have hundreds of millions [of people] and we have only nine million – then we are the Maccabees.

We reestablished the independence of Israel, the sovereignty of Israel and the IDF – the State of Israel – in the Land of Israel. This is a very great privilege and we are celebrating here today, by the light of these candles, the realization of the prophets’ dream. This is a tremendous and amazing thing.

Thank you to all of you for the splendid and successful work that you do. Thank you to the boys and girls – you are the Maccabees.”

Photo: Haim Zac/GPO

President Reuven Rivlin lit the eighth candle of Chanukah with the children of Beit HaNasi, his residence and with children from special education organizations Shmaya, OneFamilyHaverim Le’Refuah and Perach.

In addition, the meeting marked the opening of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the foundation of Kav LaChayim, an organization that supports sick children around the country, particularly in hospitals.

The president welcomed the children and their accompanying adults saying “Beit HaNasi is the home of the people, of all the people of Israel and of every Israeli child. Beit HaNasi is also my home and I am very happy that my grandchildren – those who are your age – have come to visit. Some of your parents work right here. Thank you, dear children, for lending us your mothers and fathers so they can help us bring light to the State of Israel, not just at Chanukah, but all through the year. Just as the Chanukah candles are colourful, so is our people. Every one of us is individual and special in their own way. And so are you – special and colourful!”

The president welcomed the participants from all around the country who had come to celebrate Chanukah at Beit HaNasi, saying, “Sometimes even adults need a lesson and we need you to show us and teach us that we can work together and be friends, despite our differences. We are all one family, helping and supporting each other, in tough times and in celebrations and happy times. At home, we light Chanukah candles, and the symbol of the State of Israel is a menorah, a candelabrum. On this holiday we hope and pray, and we work hard, that the menorah of the State of Israel will always be lit, shining its light on us and on those around us, bringing light of peace and unity.”

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, spectators and TV camera at the Second Test between Australia and New Zealand received Chanukah greetings on the scoreboard.

This is the first time Cricket Australia has sent a Chanukah message to the Jewish cricket fans across the globe. It was arranged by David Werdiger, the president of the Jews of Melbourne CBD and  Rabbi Dovid Gutnick of the East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation.

The message was beamed at the start of the match.

David Werdiger told J-Wire: “We were so thrilled to see it up on the big screen for all to see, and received lots of positive feedback from those who saw it! We are also very grateful to Cricket Australia for doing it.”


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