Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bahrain’s King Holds Chanukah Candle-Lighting Ceremony

Jewish Rituals

An article in The Times of Israel, originally published in JTA, reports that the King of Bahrain, a Islamic nation in the Persian Gulf, held Chanukah candle-lighting ceremonies. Officially called the Kingdom of Bahrain, the island nation (consisting of 33 islands) of 1.3 million, is a constitutional monarchy with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa as its head of state:

The Times Of Israel writes:
The king of Bahrain has hosted a candle-lighting ceremony at his palace to mark the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, bringing in a rabbi from Europe to conduct the service.
According to the Conference of European Rabbis, Monday’s ceremony in Manama, Bahrain’s capital, was the first of its kind in the Persian Gulf nation’s palace since the establishment of Israel in 1948.
Conference Director Rabbi Moshe Levin, who was invited by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, recited the traditional blessings while lighting the candles, and sang a verse of “Ma’oz Tzur,” the traditional Hanukkah hymn. Some 50 Jews were present for the ceremony.
“A little light drives off a lot of darkness,” Levin told the king, according to the press release. “Bahrain under your rule is a little light in a dark world of radical fundamentalism.”
This bodes well for Muslim-Jewish relations. Moreover, let us hope that this light spreads far and wide, not only in the Middle East, but also around the world. Today is the fourth day of Chanukah, an eight-day holiday; Happy Chanukah to all.

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For more, go to [TOI]