David Friedman at Yeshivat Hagolan
David Friedman at Yeshivat Hagolan Yeshivat Hagolan

Former US Ambassador to Israel received a special gift from the Yeshivat Hagolan, a jug of Trumah olive oil, harvested and pressed in the Golan Heights.

The yeshiva said in a statement: "Almost a year has passed since Ambassador Friedman has left his office in the new, yet historic American embassy in Jerusalem. The residents of the Golan Heights have not forgotten his tremendous efforts which eventually brought the American administration to officially recognize the Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Yeshivat Hagolan, a Hesder Yeshiva located in the northern town of Hispin, waited patiently for the Olive picking season to start preparing Ambassador Friedman’s special gift."

"Friedman is an observant Orthodox Jew, and a Cohen proud of his heritage. While Friedman was stationed in Israel, he persistently arrived to bless the people of Israel in the ritual Birkat Cohanim ceremony at the Western Wall every Chol Hamoed, and he also worked in order to bring about the announcement that the United States of America recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel.

Ever Since Friedman concluded his role as Ambassador, he started working on opening the “David Friedman Center for Peace through strength” to promote the Abraham Accords.

"As well as creating new financial opportunities connecting between Israel and various Arab countries. Friedman’s peace center’s logo consists of a shield, surrounding a pair of hands whose fingers form the iconic shape unique to Cohanim while they during their blessing, as well as a dove carrying an olive branch, a world renown biblical symbol for peace. Yeshivat Hagolan decided to combine these elements and presented Ambassador Friedman with a jug of oil which can only be used by a Cohen to light candles. Since we cannot fully purify ourselves without the Para Aduma (red heifer), the oil cannot be eaten, only burnt. As a Cohen, David Friedman and his family can use this special oil to light Hanukkah candles.

“Our sages teach us that the days of Chanukah should be days of gratitude and joy while lighting candles, and these candles are holy, they cannot be used” said Rav Yoel Manovitch, The Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Hagolan. “As a token of our gratitude for his efforts, we granted former Ambassador Friedman, who is a Cohen, Truma oil. Unfortunately, even Cohanim can not enjoy eating Truma these days, since we are all not fully purified. But even an Impure Cohen can enjoy the light coming from Truma oil. We decided to give Mr. Friedman oil from olives grown, harvested and pressed in the marvelous plains of the Golan Heights, so he can be able to light candles, with much gratitude and joy, commemorating the Chanukah miracles happening throughout history."

The jug was sealed by a personalized wax stamp, just as was done in ancient times. Engraved in the stamp was the logo of the Friedman center, with the Cohanic symbol and the dove carrying an olive branch, resembling the Jewish passion and pride, which Friedman helped spread worldwide.

“Mr. Friedaman was really excited about the thought and the special gift” said Yonatan Dovev, the director of development of Yeshivat Hagolan, “We knew that we had to show our gratitude for all the efforts Ambassador Friedman had put in to the Jewish people, the state of Israel and the Golan Heights, while he was office, and also much after he left his official role. May we continue spreading the special light of Torah and Chanukah, from the Golan and Israel, to the whole world."