By Chabad.org Staff
Hundreds of Jews gathered this evening in Revolution Square in Moscow to watch the lighting of Russia’s largest menorah. The event, which was witnessed by thousands of passers-by, marked the first night of Chanukah.
The giant menorah was lit in the country’s capital city by Rabbi Berel Lazar, chief rabbi of Russia and head Chabad-Lubavitch emissary. He was joined by a number of dignitaries, including Chief Rabbi of Israel Dovid Lau and Israel’s ambassador to Russia Zvi Heifetz.
The lighting, which took place in central Moscow just blocks away from the Kremlin and in unseasonably warm weather, was followed by cheerful Chassidic dancing, accompanied by the Moscow Cheder Menachem Boys Choir.
In all, 13 large public menorahs will be lit each night of Chanukah throughout Moscow, and 35,000 menorah kits will be distributed. More than 5,000 people are expected at a Chanukah concert and menorah-lighting at the Kremlin on Tuesday, Dec. 8, the third night of the eight-day holiday.