(lubavitch.com) For the first time since its inception in 1856, the New South Wales Parliament hosted a Chanukah celebration this week. The event, organized by Yeshiva Centre – Chabad NSW Headquarters, was attended by Premier Nathan Rees, Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell, parliament members, and community leaders.
Chabad representatives made a gift to Parliament of a silver menorah at the pre-Chanukah event. In giving the candelabra, Head of Chabad in NSW, Rabbi Pinchus Feldman OAM, said the menorah’s symbolism was an appropriate tribute to Parliament, whose motto is “Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites” (“Recently risen, how brightly you shine”).
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Richard Torbay accepted the gift, on behalf of his colleagues. The menorah will make its permanent home in Parliament chambers,. Politicians and Jewish communal leaders spoke as well.
Both Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Governor-General Quentin Bryce have received similar menorahs on recent trips to Chabad of NSW’s Sydney headquarters.
This party is only the first of many public lightings and events which will take place throughout the region for the duration of the Chanukah festival.