Rivlin to Holocaust survivors: Each of you is a miracle

President hosts Holocaust survivors at his residence for candle-lighting ceremony using menorah hidden during the Holocaust.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rivlin lights Hanukkah candles with Holocaust survivors
Rivlin lights Hanukkah candles with Holocaust survivors
Mark Neiman/GPO

President Reuven Rivlin lit the candles for the second night of Hanukkah with Holocaust survivors from all over the country.

The candle-lighting ceremony was held in conjunction with the Center for Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, with the participation of the Chair of the Colette Avital Center.

One of the organizations that represents the Holocaust survivors is the Amcha organization, which assists some 20,000 Holocaust survivors and operates through a network of 15 centers throughout the country. The theater group from Rehovot participated in the ceremony held at the President's Residence.

The president turned to the Holocaust survivors and said that they themselves constitute a miracle. "I have the great privilege and honor to host you here, at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, the free, independent, Jewish and democratic State of Israel, to say together with you with great joy and heart, 'That we have lived and persevered and have reached this time.'"

"Hanukkah, according to Jewish tradition, contains the heroism and the miracle, just like the story of your life. You, each of you is a hero. The survival of each and every one of you is a miracle. Your story is the story of an entire generation that rose from Holocaust to rebirth, which escaped from the depths of evil and chose life. A generation of heroism and action, a generation that has contributed to Israeli society and the State of Israel in all spheres of life, a generation that has risen from the depths of the earth and established here in the Land of Israel and the State of Israel - a glorious country," Rivlin added.

Rivlin said that the Hanukkah menorah in which he lit the candles is a remnant of the Holocaust. "The menorah with which we light the candles today was discovered in the town of Sompolno in Poland right now, following information received by the International Center Shem Olam from a Polish woman and placed in the synagogue and served as the Jewish community in the town."

"During the Holocaust, the menorah was buried deep in the ground, and it is among the only objects left of memory of the Jewish community of the town of Smopolno, a vibrant town of about one thousand two hundred Jews, and was almost completely destroyed in the Chelmno death camp in February 1942.

"I know that you, the members of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors, including the various organizations, are doing everything in their power for the survivors of the Holocaust to finally achieve a logical and just solution to the art and culture treasures of Holocaust victims which were looted, confiscated, and sold under Nazi occupation in Germany and other countries. This menorah came home, but there are other art objects and works that have been looted and have not yet been returned," he said.

He noted that it is the duty of the State of Israel to care for Holocaust survivors. "From this stage, I want to make sure that we are doing everything possible to ensure that the Holocaust survivors who live among us are diminishing, living in dignity and well-being, and this is our moral obligation as a nation and a nation."