Karlsruhe, Germany, seat of Germany’s Supreme Court and home to some 2,000 Jews, celebrated Chanukah this year, as every year, with distinguished leaders participating in Chabad’s public menorah lighting in the town square. This year, the honor of lighting the shamash (officiant candle) went to Dr. Stephan Harbarth, President of the Federal Constitutional Court (Germany’s Supreme Cou). “Let us not forget our great fortune,” Harbarth said Tuesday evening, speaking at the foot of the menorah before a crowd that had come to witness the menorah lighting. “Only 75 years after the Holocaust, an active Jewish community has found a home here and menorah lightings like these happen here.”
Rabbi Mordechai and Yehudit Mendelson, directors of Chabad Lubavitch of Karlsruhe organized the event. “We are honored to have Dr. Harbarth here with us,” Mordechai said.
The President of the nation’s highest court reflected on the symbolism of Chanukah. “Chanukah has a twofold message: gratitude (for miracles) and hope. We are grateful for those who have survived this period and to the first responders for their sacrifices this year. And despite all the wintery darkness we have experienced, we always maintain the hope that better times are coming,” said Dr. Harbarth. After the president lit the shamash, Rabbi Mordechai used it to kindle the remaining six flames.