Martin Place Chanukah cancelled

December 18, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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For the first time in almost thirty years, a Menorah lighting ceremony in Sydney’s Martin Place planned for tonight will not take place.

Rabbis Sebban and Rabbi Levy light the Menorah

Rabbis Sebban and Rabbi Levy light the Menorah during a previous Chanukah

In a statement from Chabad Youth of NSW, Rabbi Elimelech Levy said: “Due to the very recent terror attack in Martin Place and with sensitivity towards the families of the victims of terror, the Chanukah commemoration scheduled for this evening – Thursday, 18 December 2014 – has regrettably been cancelled.

The Jewish community of Australia expresses our deepest sympathy for the families of the Martin Place tragedy. May the Lights of the festival of Chanukah bring comfort and warmth to our nation.

The Raffle for the Chabad Youth and Wentworth Courier Menorah Colouring competition which was due to take place in Martin Place will now take place at Chanukah at the Bay, Steyne Park, Double Bay on Tuesday evening, 23 December between 4 – 9pm.


5 Responses to “Martin Place Chanukah cancelled”
  1. Dr McCosker says:

    I am a Christian.

    I say that the Hanukkah lights should have been lit in Martin Place. Without the planned party, dancing, yes, but – lit; lit as in a house of mourning. Lit with solemn resolution, as an affirmation of life, joy, freedom, truth. Lit as an act of defiance against all who love and make a lie, all who devise murder and worship death. Let them illuminate the fields of flowers.

    In effect, Sydney has been collectively sitting shiva for the victims.

    Question: in a Jewish household, when a family member dies just before or during Hanukkah, are the Hanukkah lamps still lit? Were not improvised Hanukkah lights secretly lit in some of the death camps, and in the cellars of the Warsaw ghetto and the partisan camps in the forests of Poland, during the Shoah? If so, the Hanukkah lamps should have been solemnly lighted, in Martin Place, this week.

    • Dr McCosker says:

      When I wrote “Let them illuminate the fields of flowers”, the word “them” refers to the Hanukkah lamps.

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    With due respect and I mean it, Chabad’s decision not to light up the Chanukia precisely on this important occasion was incredibly short sighetd, to say the least.
    Traditionally, at places of such tragedy, candles are lit by those who care.
    The message, the meaning of the Jewish occasion of Chanukah is one that brings to humanity the value of life, of the crede in a Mighty force which is Present among us through the very light of wisdom and care for all humans.

    There are so many important messages that need to be made public on this very occasion by our Rebbonim and, together with them, all those State officials who take part, as an established tradition in Sydney’s Martin Place. By not continuing this important gesture we, the Jews have failed to show that the dark forces which have tried to disrupt, change the normality of our civic life have not succeeded in their criminal strategy to intimidate all of us, Jews and non Jews alike.

    I strongly believe that our religious leaders, IF they want to be seen as such, must get up there tonight and the for the rest of Chaukah and turn on those candles in sign of respect for the victims and in a most appropriate sign that the Jews of this world DO have an important message to send, a most fitting one now and always.

    Just wonder, by what logic one would intelligently explain that NOT continuing the lighting of the Chanukah candles makes sense !!!!

  3. Efrem Manassey says:

    What a beautiful tradition is the lighting of the Chanukah lights at Martin Place every year. As a Jewish Sydneysider I value this as one of Sydney’s deeply significant spiritual events. I cannot help but feel the gentle sensitivity of the Chabad youth in this year’s change, though. We are all feeling the enormity of what has just happened in Martin Place and I am proud to join Chabad and all the Jewish community in our prayers of love for the victims of the siege and their families. Also for your prayers of peace for all Sydneysiders and Australians I thank you Chabad youth.
    How significant is the need for Light at the moment. Chanukah is more than timely for us all this year.
    In togetherness,
    Efrem Manassey.

  4. Otto Waldmann says:

    They would (do) bring comfort only when lit !!!!

    Not a very wise decision, how can our message of Channukah not fit with the necessary message of a fight for justice and decency among people.

    Surely our Rebbonim could have found the words to explain and convince…otherwise, those who want us out of the public square (!!!) have won !!!!

    Of ALL people , WE should not have retreated.

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