Mon, Dec 22, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Menorah lit at Hanukkah event at Taipei City Hall

By Lii Wen  /  Staff reporter

Members of Taipei’s Jewish community light a giant menorah at the Taipei City Hall Plaza last night to celebrate Hanukkah.

Photo: CNA

Members of Taipei’s Jewish community gathered at the Taipei City Hall Plaza last night to celebrate Hanukkah — the Jewish Festival of Lights — by lighting up a menorah nearly 4m tall.

A menorah is a candelabrum used in Jewish worship, typically with eight branches.

The eight-day holiday, which remembers the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC, is being celebrated from Wednesday last week through this Wednesday.

Organized by the Taipei Jewish Center, yesterday’s event offered sufganiyot — Jewish donuts — to observe the custom of eating fried foods during Hanukkah, while traditional Hanukkah music played in the background.

Participants were invited to make colorful hand-crafted candles and other festive decorations, and to watch a performance by a magician.

Elie, a member of the Jewish community from France, lit the glistening menorah with a torch while perched on a ladder.

In contrast with many other places around the world that might have anti-Semitic tension, Taipei provides a welcoming atmosphere for Jewish people to practice their faith, he said.

Rabbi Shlomi Tabib described Taiwan as a “secure and comfortable place for Jewish people to live in,” adding that the Jewish community in Taiwan is growing.

Although Hanukkah has been celebrated in Taipei for several years, this is the first time the event has been held at a public venue in cooperation with the Taipei City Government.

More than 100 people attended the ceremony, including adults and children from the Jewish community in Taiwan as well as Taiwanese interested in the Jewish culture and Judaism.

One Taiwanese participant said that although she is a Christian, she attended the event because she is learning Hebrew and has an interest in Jewish culture.

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