JERUSALEM (JTA) — David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, lit the menorah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem for the second night of Hanukkah.
Thousands attended the ceremony on Wednesday evening one week after President Donald Trump announced that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“A great honor to light the Menorah at the Western Wall,” Friedman tweeted after the lighting ceremony. “Some 2,180 years ago, the Maccabees reclaimed this very site and restored Jewish ritual to the Second Temple. Awed to stand on the same hallowed ground. Happy Chanukah to all!!
Friedman lit the candles accompanied by the Western Wall rabbi, Shmuel Rabinovitch; Jerusalem’s chief rabbi, Shlomo Amar; and the minister of tourism, Yariv Levin, Ynet reported.
Earlier in the day, Friedman met with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, whose office said in a statement that the meeting was part of “the beginning of the process of moving the embassy to the capital,” and that they discussed “a shared future in Jerusalem.”
A U.S. Embassy spokesman did not return a message from JTA seeking comment on the Jerusalem municipality’s characterization of the meeting.