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Happy Hanukkah!

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah began last Thursday 10 December and will end in the evening this Friday 18 December. Also know as the Festival of Lights, it is also spelled as Hanukka, Chanukah or Channukkah. Lasting eight days, it reaffirms the ideals of Judaism and commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem by the lighting of candles on a special candlestick, the menorah, on each day of the festival.  

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This year, QMSU’s Jewish and Israel Society, celebrated the beginning of Hanukkah with a candle-lighting ceremony outside the library at our Mile End campus last Thursday. 

Joel Azulay, President of QMSU’s Jewish and Israel Society, explains the significance of the ceremony: 

During Chanukah we celebrate the miracle of how a tiny jar of oil which was meant to last for one night, managed to burn for eight nights.  Attached is a group picture that was taken in Library Square at Queen Mary University of London during our candle lighting on the first night of Chanukah 2020. What's special about Queen Mary is that it is host to some of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the UK.  As we lit the Shamas, followed by the first candle, we were told that this was potentially the first time that a Chanukah candle lighting ceremony had been performed on campus. This struck me - how during a pandemic we have  managed to gather a group of Jewish students to light a Chanukkiah on campus, when I have only been three times to University this academic year - it was a miracle in itself! I don't often write publicly but I think we as a Society should be proud of what we have accomplished and what is to come! 

Wishing all who celebrate, a very Happy Hanukkah!