Jews around the world have begun celebrating Hannukah, the eight-day holiday that commemorates the re-dedication of the temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BC. In spite of the renewed threat of rocket attacks from Gaza, residents of the southern Israeli town of Sderot came onto the streets at sunset to join in the festivities.
In Jerusalem, rabbis recited prayers and blessings while others lit the first candle of Menorahs, the eight-branched candelabra that are a symbol of the celebration. In the German capital Berlin, several hundred gathered to sing songs in front of the Brandenburg Gate, while the city’s Jewish Museum held a special market. Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski celebrated the first day of Hannukah in Warsaw, in what the Jewish community says is the first visit by a sitting Polish president to a synagogue in the city.