Hanukkah candles lit in Polish parliament


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – Candles for the first night of Hanukkah were lit in the Polish Parliament.

The ceremony was held on Tuesday evening, shortly after the inaugural address by the new Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, who has Jewish roots.

The candle lighting was attended by the father of the new prime minister, Kornel Morawiecki; parliament speaker Marek Kuchciński; the ambassador of Israel in Warsaw Anna Azari; and representatives of Jewish organizations.

“In the Sejm celebrating Hanukkah together has become a custom,” said Kuchciński. “I believe that the meetings in the Sejm and the Senate held for years during this important time for Polish and Jewish culture shows historic close ties connecting the Polish and Jewish communities living in Poland.”

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Chabad Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Stambler pointed out that light is a universal symbol of good wisdom and tolerance. “Today, this light flows into the world from the heart of Poland, from the Polish Sejm as a symbol of unity above divisions with the best wishes for both our nations,” he said.

Anna Azari, Israeli ambassador to Poland, said it was very important that at in such a political moment the introduction of the new prime minister – that it was possible to celebrate Hanukkah together in the Sejm.

On Thursday, a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony will take place in the presidential palace in Warsaw.

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