(September 10, 2019 / JNS) Dutch Christian Zionist have donated what was previously the largest Hanukkah menorah in Europe to the Israeli city of Sderot as a gesture of solidarity with the Gaza-border town, which has suffered for years from ongoing rocket launches from Gaza.
Christian Zionist philanthropist Arjen Lont gave $40,000 to build the 36-foot menorah in 2013, according to the JTA.
The Star of David-shaped frame and 6-ton base were moved across Europe for six years by the Christians for Israel group, to feature in numerous Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremonies, but the massive object completed its final voyage on Sunday when it was erected in Sderot.
“After unspeakable suffering, the horrors of the Holocaust and most recently the attacks on Israel, Jews may feel they are alone,” Lont told JTA. “This is our way of saying you are not alone, we are behind you.”
Lont posted a picture to Twitter of the menorah being erected in Sderot and wrote, “Today, we set up the Hanukkah menorah in Sderot in Israel’s south. Here it will stay for good.”
The blue menorah is situated in a traffic circle in a residential neighborhood in Sderot, rooted by four 2-ton concrete cubes. Oil lamps in the menorah were replaced with electric bulbs.
The menorah will be officially inaugurated on Dec. 17, five days before Hanukkah, in a ceremony to be attended by Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, Christians for Israel director Roger van Oordt and Israeli representatives.
Amid “constant threat from rockets, we want to bring the light of the menorah,” Oordt said in a statement.
Sderot has been hit by thousands of rockets since the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2001.
It is also home to the Menorah Candle factory, which exports Hanukkah candles all over the world.
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