Israel Starts Chanukah Celebration with Lighting Giant Menorah

With the traditional lighting of a giant menorah atop Mount Zion here, Israel started its week-long celebration of Chanukah. Marathon runners belonging to the Maccabean sports organization brought the torch from Modin, the birth-place of Matathias the Hasmonean, father of the Maccabean dynasty which defeated the Syrian defilers of the Second Temple during a three-year rebellion (168-165 B.C. E.). ending with the miracle now memorialized in the annual Feast of Lights.

After the torch brought from Modin had been used for lighting the menorah on Mount Zion, the Maccabean runners brought it to the home of President Izhak Ben-Zvi, presenting it to the Chief of State.

Meanwhile, on Mount Zion, a special ceremony was held, honoring 2,000 Israeli youths who had reached their Bar Mitzvah during the 13th year since the rebirth of the State of Israel. The ceremony was conducted by the Ministry for Religious Affairs, Each of the Bar Mitzvah boys was awarded a special confirmation pin struck for the occasion by the medallion unit of the Prime Ministers office.

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