- Title: RUSSIA: Moscow Jews celebrate Hanukkah
- Date: 8th December 2012
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT, HANNA ESTER, SAYING: "It is a celebration of light and joy, of warmth at home. Every day we light the Hanukkah (or the menorah, a special 9-branched candlestick for the festival of Hanukkah) and spent together at least half an hour near it, all our family, with joy and music. So it means all good, warm and bright things in our life."
- Embargoed: 23rd December 2012 12:00
- Location: Russian Federation
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Quirky,Religion,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVAAK7K701RHI7QJWSJPKLI6ON13
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia, starts the Jewish Hanukkah festival by lighting a big menorah in central Moscow.
Hundreds of people gathered at Moscow's central Revolution Square Saturday (December 8) to light the Grand Menorah and to celebrate the start of an eight-day traditional Jewish festival Hanukkah which as a rule takes place between late November and late December.
Before the start of a traditional ceremony that includes lighting of the menorah, a candelabrum having eight branches and a shammes that is lit during the festival of Hanukkah, Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar addressed the people on square.
"We know that faith in God is what saves a person, it is what gives the understanding of values and morals in life. That's why Hanukkah is not only the Jewish celebration, it is a universal celebration," he said adding: "Today, the Menorah is being lit on the (Moscow's) Revolution Square because we want such kind of revolutions, the revolutions that do good to every person."
After the ceremony Berel Lazar joined the people who were dancing and chanting to traditional Jewish tunes on the snowy Moscow's square across from the Bolshoi Theatre.
"It is a celebration of light and joy, of warmth at home. Every day we light the Hanukkah (or the menorah, a special 9-branched candlestick for the festival of Hanukkah) and spent together at least half an hour near it, all our family, with joy and music. So it means all good, warm and bright things in our life," said Moscow resident Hanna Ester, mother of six children.
Last year, Moscow Jewish were not able to hold public celebrations on the first day of a Hanukkah festival as the tradition prescribes. The festivities were put off to the 7th day because of the mass electoral protests in Moscow.
This year the celebration went according to the tradition.
Jews around the world traditionally celebrate Hanukkah with eight nights of merriment.
The holiday commemorates the victory of the Jewish rebel army of the Maccabees over the Syrians which happened in 165 B.C. Hanukkah is also the subsequent rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem.
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