Each year, at the initiative of the European Jewish Community Centre, EuroChanukah is celebrated on Rond-Point Schuman, in the heart of the EU quarter of Brussels, in front of the European Commission and European Council buildings.
Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly lighting of the Menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), special prayers and fried foods.
This year, it will took place again on December 10 but given the current situation, it will only be broadcasted live on you tube. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyenwill will be lighting the Shamash candle in the 5 metres high Euro-Menorah on Rond-Point Schuman.
Brussels Mayor Philippe Close will also be present at the lighting and share a few words.
To follow the live streaming on youtube : tinyurl.com/eurochanukah
Why Chanukah ?
The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple
In the second century BCE, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of mitzvah observance and belief in God. Against all odds, a small band of faithful but poorly armed Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God.
When they sought to light the Temple’s Menorah, they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks. Miraculously, they lit the menorah and the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.
To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Chanukah.