At the foot of the Kremlin walls in central Moscow, the first candle of Chanukah was lit as every year by the Chief Rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar, after receiving special permission for the annual event. Tens of thousands witnessed the event on television and Livestream.
This year, with Covid restrictions in Russia in place, the Jewish community was nearly barred from lighting the large Chanukah menorah in the Red Square. A personal plea by Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar to a high-ranking official resulted in special permission given to community director Rabbi Mordechai Weisberg with official approval, and the Chanukah holiday was celebrated with Jewish pride.
The event was moderated by the community’s chairman, Rabbi Baruch Gorin, and was accompanied by joyous dancing with live music.