On Thursday, 29 December, in anticipation of the lighting of the 6th Chanukah Candle, Sydney became alive with scores of cars carrying Menorahs on their roofs driving through the city, reminding everyone of the great miracles that took place many years ago.
Many hundreds of people filled into the top section of Martin Place Sydney, opposite from the New South Wales Parliament House, outside the Reserve Bank of Australia and just metres away from where the Lindt Cafe siege took place only 2 years ago around this time of year.
People came from all over to celebrate 30 years of Menorah Lightings in Sydney’s Martin Place – the oldest Giant Menorah lighting in the state of New South Wales.
The event, organized by Chabad Youth NSW, was open to all and attracted a wide variety of participants of all ages and backgrounds.
The event opened with MC Rabbi Elimelech Levy of Chabad Youth NSW welcoming all and thanking everyone who made the evening possible.
Rabbi Pinchus Feldman OAM, Dean and Spiritual Leader of the Yeshiva Centre and Head Shliach to New South Wales, spoke of the message of Chanukah and of the great catastrophe of the recent United Nations resolutions against Israel the Jewish State. The Maccabees stood for the right for Jews to live in peace and serve G-d and today we contend with the UN and their bigotry against the Jewish people.
Government representatives, including Mr. Alister Henskens MP, Member for Ku – ring gai, representing the Premier, Michael Daley MP, Acting Leader of the opposition, The Hon. David Clarke MLC, Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney, Professor Karen Phelps and Waverley Councilor Leon Goltzman, all spoke very highly of the Jewish community in Sydney and the major contributions the Jewish community have made and are making since the very first fleet arrived in Australia.
A special Musical Tribute and Prayer – Oseh Shalom – was sung by Rabbi Cantor Yehoshua Niasoff, honoring the victims who perished and who survived from the Lindt Cafe Siege of 2014.
Rabbi Danny Yaffe, newly appointed together with his wife Sarah Tova as Rabbi of CBD Chabad, was honored to join Rabbi Levy in the cherry picker to light the lamps on Sydney’s tallest Menorah.
Following the Menorah lighting ceremony, crowds enjoyed a spectacular show by five times magician of the year and Australia’s got Talent sensation Sam Powers.
The finale of the evening was the drawing of the Raffle, the winner of the Wentworth and Southern couriers Menorah Coloring Competition was 3-year-old Tamar Rosenerg, who went home with a brand new Sony Playstation 4 and 2 games.
Participants also enjoyed, Dinner, Donuts, Chocolate, Face Painting, Rock Wall Climbing, Jumping Castle, Menorahs, Candles and Chanukah gifts, and many took the opportunity to put on tefillin.
The overall feeling was one of celebration, enjoyment and happiness. “It was a real Kiddush Hashem,” was a comment heard by many, said Rebbetzin Chana Levy, Co-Director of Chabad Youth NSW.
The event was also covered by Channel 7 and shown live on the Television news for all to be reminded of the great miracle of Chanukah.
A big thank you goes to the Chabad Youth shluchim for organizing the car parade and helping with the function.