Yet another addition to the roster of public and prominent spaces now displaying giant menorahs, Chabad-Lubavitch of Warsaw will be conducting the first menorah lighting in the Sejm, or the Polish Parliament on Monday.
In a tradition started by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to publicize and popularize the Festival of Lights, Chabad has brought the menorah to be lit in the White House, the Kremlin, the Brandenburg Gate, in Iraq, embassies, consulates, State Houses, college campuses, army bases, ball games, shopping malls, and more.
The menorah will be lit by Mr. Jaroslaw Kalinowski the Vice Marshal of the Sejm, together with Rabbi S. B. Stambler, Chabad-Lubavitch representative to Warsaw, on the seventh night of Chanukah. Members of Parliament representing a cross section of all political parties will participate in the menorah lighting.
The event at the Sejm is a reflection of the warm support Poland’s government extends to its Jewish population—once the target of extreme and murderous hostility.
It will follow a public menorah lighting on Sunday, outside the Palace of Culture in Warsaw, originally known as the Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture. Participating in the menorah lighting will be Mr. Waldemar Pawlak – deputy prime minister (political party: Polish People's Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe, PSL); Mrs. Hanna Gronkiewicz–Waltz–President of Capital City of Warsaw, Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska, PO); Mr. David Peleg – Israeli Ambassador in Poland, and Mr. Szewach Weiss – former Israeli Ambassador in Poland and a friend of Chabad of Poland.
Four years ago, Chabad’s first menorah lighting there seemed a surreal event, especially to Jewish survivors in Poland, who came to witness it in disbelief.
Chanukah is that rare occasion when the medium is the message; there’s no better way to convey the light and warmth of this tradition than by lighting the menorah, and the more public the venue, the greater the illumination.
“This really is the message of Chanukah—to transform darkness into light, and nowhere is this better illustrated than by lighting the menorah in places once associated with great darkness,” Rabbi Stambler told Lubavitch.com.