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‘Let There Be Light’: First Night of Chanukah 2023 in Photos

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Chabad.org Staff

These are difficult times for the Jewish people, no matter where they find themselves. On Oct. 7, a darkness unseen in generations unleashed itself on the Land and People of Israel, accompanied by renewed, overt antisemitism around the world.

It is no accident then, that this year marks 50 years since the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—launched his worldwide Chanukah campaign, bringing the “Festival of Lights” into thousands of homes, army bases and wherever else Jews find themselves.

The Chanukah lights “demonstrate at once even to the physical eye … that the light goes on in the Jewish home even when it is dark and gloomy in the outside world … ,” he wrote. “[A] Jew must not permit himself to be overawed by the darkness outside, but must illuminate his home,” not resting there but letting “the light shine forth ‘outside’ … .”

This year has seen a surge in public Chanukah displays and Jewish pride, with many more individuals planning to light their menorahs in visible places, such as their doors or windows, with more confidence and resolve than ever before. During these eight days, Chabad-Lubavitch will reach an estimated 8 million Jews—more than half the worldwide Jewish population.

It was Rabbi Isaiah HaLevi Horowitz, the saintly Sheloh, who pointed out Chanukah’s immense power to renew and restore the entire world, for “just as Creation began with ‘Let there be light,’ so the mitzvah of Chanukah begins with the lighting of candles.”

Circling the globe, here is a gallery of photos showing the light of Chanukah illuminating the world. In addition, Chabad.org is streaming several Chanukah events live, including the Menorah Lighting at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. (EST); the National Menorah Lighting in Washington, D.C on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. (EST); the Menorah Lighting in Detroit on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. (EST); the Calgary Community Menorah Lighting on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. (EST); Chanukah Live: Paris to Jerusalem to New York on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. (EST)

Wellington, New Zealand

Photo: Chabad of New Zealand
Photo: Chabad of New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

Rabbi Mendel Hecht lights the menorah in Auckland. - Photo: Chabad of New Zealand
Rabbi Mendel Hecht lights the menorah in Auckland.
Photo: Chabad of New Zealand

Bangkok, Thailand

Photo: Chabad of Thailand
Photo: Chabad of Thailand
Photo: Chabad of Thailand
Photo: Chabad of Thailand
Photo: Chabad of Thailand
Photo: Chabad of Thailand

Zhytomyr, Ukraine

Photo: Chabad of Zhytomyr
Photo: Chabad of Zhytomyr
Photo: Chabad of Zhytomyr
Photo: Chabad of Zhytomyr

Moscow, Russia

Photo: Chabad of Moscow
Photo: Chabad of Moscow
Photo: Chabad of Moscow
Photo: Chabad of Moscow

Vienna, Austria

Photo: Chabad of Vienna
Photo: Chabad of Vienna

Berlin, Germany

Chancellor Sholz spoke of antisemitism, past and present. - Photo: Chabad of Berllin
Chancellor Sholz spoke of antisemitism, past and present.
Photo: Chabad of Berllin
Photo: Chabad of Berllin
Photo: Chabad of Berllin
The event included speeches and entertainment. - Photo: Chabad of Berlin
The event included speeches and entertainment.
Photo: Chabad of Berlin
Photo: Chabad of Berllin
Photo: Chabad of Berllin

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