200 Holocaust survivors light Hanukkah candles at Western Wall

Western Wall Rabbi: Thanks to the survival of the Holocaust survivors, today we can celebrate Hanukkah, here near the Temple Mount.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Minister Gamliel with Holocaust survivors at Western Wall
Minister Gamliel with Holocaust survivors at Western Wall
Ministry spokesperson

200 Holocaust survivors attended the candle-lighting ceremony of the third night of Hanukkah at the Western Wall Tuesday evening. The ceremony was also attended by Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel, Rabbi of Be'er Sheva, Rabbi Yehuda Deri and Rabbi of the Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz.

Rabbi Rabinowitz said that "thanks to the survival of the Holocaust survivors, we can celebrate Hanukkah here near the site of the [Hanukkah] miracle. Their light is the continuation of the Hasmonean light that accompanies us to this day."

MK Gamliel said that "Hanukkah is one of the Jewish holidays in which the women were active partners in miracles. We are facing the holiest place for the people of Israel. It is our right to be grateful and to return even a little the childhood that was lost to all those survivors."

Julius Berman, president of the Claims Conference, said: "It is a great honor for me to be here today with you at the Western Wall, the holiest place for the Jewish people. Our mission is to bring light to those who experienced the darkest side of humanity, to ensure that survivors now live in dignity, and are supported with nursing, food, medication, and the ability to communicate with others, especially with other survivors."

"This is the sacred mission of the Claims Conference. This event at the foot of the Western Wall is an effort to create a tradition that I hope will continue in the coming years."

Dr. Zeev Hertz Folman, 77, who survived the Holocaust as a child in Poland, was born in the Piotrkow ghetto in Poland in November 1941, said: "At the age of 10 months I was smuggled from the ghetto to a Polish family in Warsaw who took me to a convent. My late mother was murdered in Treblinka and my father was murdered in Auschwitz. At the end of the war, at the age of four, I was sent alone to Palestine."

"In Israel I was adopted by family members and later I left to be educated in a boarding school. I have experienced many separable and inconceivable lives, and innumerable transitions. I was in crisis. For me and many Holocaust survivors, lighting a third Hanukkah candle at the Western Wall is an event that symbolizes the unending continuity of our endless struggles for our existence."