Menorah lit at Victoria Barracks

December 7, 2011 by Henry Benjamin
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A pre-Chanukah menorah lighting ceremony has been held at Sydney’s Victoria Barracks complete with latkes and doughnuts.

Lt-Cmdr Paul Koerber is helped by family to light the Menorah with Rabbi Yossi Segelman watching pic: Henry Benjamin

NSW Australian Defence Forces chaplain Rabbi Yossi Segelman welcomed Warwick Abadee president of NAJEX, the NSW Association of ex-servicemen and women and Wesley Browne, the president of FAJEX, the federal body and explained the meaning of Chanukah to the many members of the ADF who attended the function.

Brigadier Phillip Bridie receives his yarmulke from Rabbi Segelman

He called on the senior rabbi to the ADF, Rabbi Ralph Genende, to go into more detail. He related Chanukah to the work around the world of the ADF and its commitment to justice and democracy. He said: “We pay a heavy price relative to the size of our country and we acknowledge the loss of those in Afghanistan during this year. Chanukah is about our capacity to hold our head high to express the recognition of the identity and the cultures of others. A little bit of light can expel can a great amount of darkness.”

The Menorah was lit by naval Lieutenant-Commander Paul Koerber with help from his family.

The commander of the 8th Division Brigadier Phillip Bridie welcomed especially the children who were attending this year’s Menorah lighting and declared it to having become an annual event. He said: “Chanukah- the Festival of Light – to me the relevance of the to the ADF no matter our background we are here to help the less fortunate.

Chaplain Hayes, Brigadier Bridie and Rabbi Ralph Genende

Whether it be in providing education or just the chance to live or the chance to bring democracy. It’s all about freedom of speech  – a chance for everyone to express themselves freely without the fear someone walking up to them with a gun in the middle of the night.”

He said that when the ADF goes out to another country to restore or establish democracy it paralleled the rededication of the temple by the restoration of democracy.

He said: “Chanukah has a very wide applicability to all of us here today.” He paid tribute to Jewish soldier Greg Sher who lost his life fighting for the ADF in Afghanistan…

“As we remember Chanukah, please remember those people – our two and a half thousand members of the ADF who are in harm’s way.”

Rabbi Segelman presented Brigadier Phillip Bridie with a camouflage yarmulke.
























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