Watch: Chief Rabbi at Kotel Hanukkah lighting

'Here we want to build up the walls,' says Rabbi Lau, recalling how a handful of Jews defeated myriads 'bringing in a foreign outlook.'

Hezki Baruch,

Rabbi Lau lighting the Hanukkiah at the Kotel
Rabbi Lau lighting the Hanukkiah at the Kotel
Chief Rabbi's spokesperson

Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau lit the Hanukkah candles at the Kotel (Western Wall) on Tuesday night to mark the third night of the holiday. During the lighting, the Chief Rabbi spoke about the miracle just over 3,000 years ago when vastly outnumbered Jews fought off both the Greek occupation, and the "foreign outlook" among Hellenistic Jews.

Rabbi Lau began by reciting the blessings and lighting the Hanukkiah, a special menorah (candelabra) lit during the eight day holiday. Video from the event, in Hebrew, can be seen below.



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"Here we want to build up the walls," said Rabbi Lau at the Kotel, one of the remaining walls of the Holy Temple where the miracle of the oil lasting eight days during the redemption of the Temple occurred. "Here we note the fact that there were those who 'breached the walls of my tower.'"

"And how does that breaching find expression? They defiled all the oil," he said. He enumerated the breaching as being "the fact that they defiled the oil, the fact that they tried to bring in a foreign outlook, the fact that they tried to cause harm so that the light - the clear and pure Torah of Israel - would not light up the entire world from here, that's what they wanted to do."

"And against them stood the Hasmoneans, Matityahu and his sons, a handful of 13 Jews against tens of thousands of Greeks and their helpers," added Rabbi Lau, noting the miraculous odds under which the Maccabees won and ended the Greek persecution of Judaism.


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