President Andrzej Duda took part in the Hanukkah candles lighting ceremony at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday. – This is Polin, this is a place for all of us where we want to continue to live together in tolerance, mutual understanding and respect – he said.
– Thank you for the fact that once again joy, prayer and the blessing of the feast of lights flows and also flows from the Presidential Palace – said Andrzej Duda on Wednesday, addressing the rabbis gathered in the Presidential Palace and participants of the Hanukkah candles ceremony. – Because for us, as believers here in the Republic of Poland, this connection with God, prayer, this co-presence is very important – emphasized the president.
Andrzej Duda remarked that for him and his associates “it is a great joy that today we can, on the hands of rabbis for the entire Jewish community in our country, as well as abroad, wish you a happy Hanukkah, happy and happy holidays, full of reflection, but such joyful reflection and full of pride “. – Pride in who you are and what you are – he emphasized.
The president stated that the privilege of Kalisz granted in 1264 was repeatedly confirmed by the rulers of the Commonwealth and “is a symbol of the presence of Jews in Poland, their place and role in Poland”. – The role of the Jewish community over a thousand years was very important for Poland – he emphasized.
– This is Polin, this is a place for all of us, historically shaped, culturally established, in which we want to continue to live together in tolerance, mutual understanding and respect. As the President of the Republic of Poland, I want to emphasize it with all my might – said Andrzej Duda.
Hanukkah began on November 28
On Sunday, November 28 in the evening, Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, began. It commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks. When the Greeks conquered Jerusalem, their ruler Antiochus IV forbade the Jewish rites and ordered the persecution of those who did not comply, and established the worship of one of the Hellenistic deities in the Temple of Jerusalem. The Jews defeated the invaders in December 164 BC
During the re-sanctification of the Temple in Jerusalem, a miracle occurred – the oil needed to perform the rites burned for eight days, although it was predicted that it would only last for a day. Since then, the Jews, remembering about the miracle, light a Hanukkah candle for eight days during Hanukkah on a Hanukkah candle usually placed on the window sill in a place visible from the street.
Traditional Hanukkah dishes include latkes prepared in oil in memory of the miracle and donuts stuffed with e.g. preserves.
Main photo source: PAP / Leszek Szymański