Vienna, 17 December 2009 Press release

Celebrating Hanukkah together

Foreign Ministry and Israeli Embassy organise ride on the “Israel Tram”

Vienna, 17 December 2009 – Today, after a one-year break, the Israel Tram is again traversing the streets of Vienna. For the second time, the Israeli Embassy and the Cultural Policy Section of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs are inviting people to light the Hanukkah candles. Israeli Ambassador Aviv Shir-On will light the seventh Hanukkah candle together with Ambassador Emil Brix, Head of the Cultural Policy Section at the Foreign Ministry. Senior cantor Shmuel Barzilai will sing the blessings.

The journey will start at “Karlsplatz”, continue round the “Ring” before ending at the Christmas Market at the Upper Belvedere. As last year, high-ranking representatives of the diplomatic corps will participate in the event.

Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The “Menorah” was the “Candelabrum” never to be extinguished in the Temple. According to what has been handed down, after of the successful Jewish revolt against the Seleucid monarchy there was only enough consecrated oil to fuel the “Menorah” in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was enough time to make new pure oil. The eight candles on the Hanukkah “Menorah” commemorate this miracle, and each day another candle is kindled until all eight candles are lit.

Federal Ministry for European and
International Affairs Press Department
Tel.: +43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550, 3739
Fax: +43 (0) 50 1159-213