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In UAE and Israel, Hanukkah and a National Day are a time to celebrate together

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07.12.2021

The first Hanukkah, and the first UAE National Day since the United Arab Emirates and Israel opened their respective embassies saw Israelis and Emiratis celebrating the holidays together in both countries.

“Hanukkah in the UAE was eight days of miracles,” Rabbi Elie Abadie, Senior Rabbi of the Jewish Council of the Emirates, told the Times of Israel on Monday. “As the Jewish community celebrated each night in a different place with pride of being Jewish and living in the UAE. We were joined by many Emiratis that came to celebrate with us.”

On November 28, the first night of Hanukkah, Rabbi Levi Duchman, head of the UAE Jewish Community Center, lit candles at Israel’s Expo Dubai 2020 pavilion, along with consul Ilan Sztulman and Elazar Cohen, commissioner of Israel’s expo pavilion. Students from Duchman’s local Hebrew school joined him as well.

The next night, dozens of Emiratis joined Abadie, Duchman, the local Jewish community and Jewish tourists from Israel, the US, and elsewhere to light the hanukkiah and to mark the UAE’s 50th National Day in Dubai.

The event, at which a moment of silence for fallen UAE soldiers was observed, was organized by Sharaka, an NGO founded in the wake of the 2020 Abraham Accords to promote people-to-people relations between Israel and its new Arab........

© The Times of Israel


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