Mayor Fandakova took part in the ceremony for the lighting of candles on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah


On December 18, the Jewish community celebrated Hanukkah – the feast of light.

At the invitation of the Central Israeli Spiritual Council and the "Shalom" Organization of Jews in Bulgaria, Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova lit one of the candles of the Hanukkah candlestick in the Sofia Synagogue. As part of the ceremony, the candles were lit by the President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, H.E. Ambassador of the State of Israel in Bulgaria, Yoram Elron, Prof. Dr. Alexander Oskar, Chairman of UEB "Shalom" and Prof.Dr. Tsvetomir Dimitrov, Director of the "St. John the Baptist" University Hospital – Sofia.

In her address on the occasion of the celebration, Mayor Fandakova said: “Today we are celebrating the light that divides the darkness and makes us better people. We need it to overcome the challenges that the world faces. Contrary to expectations, the 21st century has been torn apart by wars and conflicts. Things are happening close to our borders which we believed were part of history. The lesson of biblical history is applicable to our days – justice has prevailed and I am convinced that this will happen now. ”

Fandakova added that “When we light the candle of the festive Hanukkah, we bear in our hearts the hope for better, for peace, for humanity, we rely on faith as our ancestors taught us.”

In the words of Mayor Fandakova, our city of Sofia is a symbol of tolerance and wisdom.  Sofia bears the name of God's wisdom and this is essentially a message of humanity, peace and light”. “Together with the Jewish community in Sofia and with the support of diplomatic missions, we have carried out a number of initiatives to banish the language of hatred,” the Mayor of Sofia said.

The Director of the University First Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment - Sofia ‘St. Yoan Krastitel’ EAD (First University General Hospital – Sofia ("St. John the Baptist" Solely-owned PLC), Prof. Dr. Tsvetomir Dimitrov was honoured with an award – a Hanukkah candlestick as a sign of gratitude and appreciation for the care shown to the representatives of the Jewish community.

His award was presented by Prof. Dr. Alexander Oskar – Chairman of the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria "Shalom", who said: "The Jewish tradition dictates that every person should have a teacher and a friend. Prof. Dr. Dimitrov received the Jewish Hanukkah candlestick Hanukkah for outstanding services in the care for members of the Jewish community during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for supporting many charitable initiatives. We present the Hanukkah candlestick so that it may be the guardian of the light of Hanukkah, added the Chairman of the "Shalom" Organisation of Jews in Bulgaria.

The feast of light – Hanukkah is associated with the victory of the brave Makabei led the Jews into a battle for freedom more than two thousand years ago. When they liberated the temple, they found that all the oil for lighting the Hanukkah (the candlestick with 9 candles) had disappeared. They began to search the city and a good man, whose name the story has not remembered, found only a small pot. However, a miracle happened and with his oil the candles burned for 8 days until they prepared new oil. The light illuminated Jerusalem, and as we know from the first lines of St. Scripture, God wanted there to be a light.

The celebration in the Sofia Synagogue was attended by H.E. U.S. Ambassador Hero Mustafa, representatives of the different faiths, Rabbi Rafi al-Ifrah, and the Jewish community in Bulgaria.

















































































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