Poland's Chief Rabbi launches Festival of Lights
PR dla Zagranicy
Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich inaugurated Hanukkah on Sunday evening in Warsaw, the eight-day Festival of Lights celebrated by Jews across the world.
Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich lights candles on Grybowski Square Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz
Following custom, Rabbi Schudrich lit candles on Warsaw's Grzybowski Square, where he was joined by other members of the country's Jewish community, as well as Polish gentiles.
“Hanukkah is a festivity during which we celebrate the freedom of religion,” the rabbi noted.
“It reminds us that everyone has the right to practise their religion according to their tradition.
“Let this year's Hanukkah inspire us to deepen our respect and understanding for others,” he said.
Grzybowski Square was part of the Jewish Ghetto that the Nazi Germans created in Warsaw during the World War II.
Prior to the war, over 3 million Jews lived in Poland. About 90 percent of them perished in the Holocaust. Waves of emigration after the war further reduced the community. However, following the collapse of communism in 1989, a gradual renaissance of Jewish life has taken place. (nh/di)