IN a video message to the community, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Chanukah reminds us that “even when things seem bleak, a light will continue to shine”.
Morrison, who last week joined his Jewish Liberal parliamentary colleagues Josh Frydenberg and Julian Leeser in lighting a menorah, noted this year has been “one of the toughest in the lives of all Australians. People in the Jewish community and well beyond have faced great adversity and made heartbreaking sacrifices. But the challenges of this year have also reminded us of what connects us most deeply.”
He added, “We saw the light of what we shared, rather than the darkness that separates.”
ScoMo: "I wish the Jewish people of Australia a light-filled #Chanukah".
Posted by The Australian Jewish News on Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Meanwhile, federal MPs from all sides of politics joined a menorah-lighting ceremony at Parliament House last week as part of the Chanukah on the Hill event.
Hosted by Chabad ACT, the event saw a host of MPs light the menorah and hear Maoz Tsur and other Chanukah songs sung by the Canberra Jewish School choir.
Among those lighting candles were Jewish MPs Josh Frydenberg, Mark Dreyfus, Josh Burns and Senator Stirling Griff. Other candle lighters included Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and Senator Zed Seselja, as well as MPs Bob Katter, Andrew Giles and Dave Sharma.
Addressing the gathering, Albanese spoke about the enormous contribution Jewish Australians continue to make and reaffirmed his commitment to the safety and security of the community.
Reminiscing how the songs the choir sang reminded him of his own Jewish education, Frydenberg, quoting the late Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, reflected on the importance of imparting our values onto the next generation.
Dreyfus said one aspect of the festival that brings him happiness is how politicians from across the divide “[put] aside our differences and the often bruising political contests that we’ve been engaging in all year to instead celebrate, in particular, our shared belief in, and our commitment to Australia, as a nation that welcomes, respects, and nurtures people, cultures and religions from all over the world”.
Chabad ACT chairman Rabbi Shmueli Feldman said, “The fantastic turnout today … is indeed testament to the enduring support for the Jewish people by our national political parties and successive Australian governments.”