Chief Rabbi of Moscow lit the first Hanukkah candle in Albania

© RIA Novosti / Maxim to Aminopherase in photobacteria of lighting the Chanukah candles at the Revolution square in MoscowChief Rabbi of Moscow lit the first Hanukkah candle in Albania© RIA Novosti / Maxim to Aminopherase the image Bank

The first candle of Hanukkah was lit by the delegation of the rabbinical Council of Europe, headed by the President of the organization, the chief Rabbi of Moscow Pinchas Goldschmidt in the governmental residence of the Prime Minister of Albania EDI Rama.

Despite the fact that the Jewish community in Albania has about a hundred people, and the synagogue and no Jewish life here is not in place. The head of the community, Dierent the kourites, actively develops the community and builds big plans for her. This became an occasion to invite representatives of the rabbinical Council of Europe in reception to the Albanian Prime Minister, to discuss prospects for joint projects.

«I have not once in my life lit candles, but this is my first Hanukah candle», — quotes the press service of Goldschmidt’s words, the Albanian Prime Minister.

The gala dinner participants of the meeting discussed the story of Albanian Jews. During the Second World war, Albania became one of the first countries in the number of Righteous among the Nations (ratio of the number of the Jewish population) and it was 64 Albanian-righteous world on 244 the Jew. Albania welcomed the Jewish refugees from Germany, Austria, Croatia and Serbia, and also she became one of the few European countries where the Jewish community after the Second world war, became more numerous than before.

Plans EDI Rama — the creation of the Jewish center and the Museum of Albanian Jews. He believes that it is important for the development of the Jewish community and for education of the General population.

«The visit to Albania can cause a lot of issues due to the small size of the community. However, the importance of such meetings are not always determined by the size of the community or the Jewish population. The historical significance of this meeting is that we can initiate the development of the Jewish community in Albania. We are grateful to the Prime Minister EDI Rama for the invitation and hospitality and for his willingness to revive and support the Jewish community in Albania today, when the number of communities more than 100 people. The Albanian people showed their best qualities in relation to the Albanian Jews during the Second World war and it is impossible to forget. The memory of the past is a solid Foundation for the future,» said Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt at the end of the meeting.

The feast of Hanukkah commemorates the «miracle» which, according to tradition, occurred at the dedication of the Second Jewish temple after the victory of the Jewish military leader Judas Maccabee over the Seleucid forces of king Antiochus in 164 year BC. Oil is required for ignition of the temple lamp (menorah), was, according to legend, desecrated by enemies. The Jews found only one cruse of «pure» olive oil. It was supposed to last only for a day, but miraculously lasted eight days of the menorah burning — exactly for the time that was needed to prepare new, uncontaminated oil.