Hanukkah celebrated in Moscow with lezginka dance
Hanukkah was celebrated today in Moscow in an unusual way. The main idea was to combine the cultures of the Jewish and Caucasian peoples. The event was arranged by Mountain Jews with lighting of Hanukkah candles and traditional holiday donuts. Several hundred people were guests of the event. They could see lezginka dances, listen to music and enjoy Caucasian cuisine.
"Hanukkah is the main winter Jewish holiday. It has become very popular among Russian Jews in recent years. For the fifth year running we celebrate it in Moscow. It is believed that the predestination of the Jewish people is to bring light to the world, and Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights. It is celebrated in honor of the fact that the Jews managed to defend their predestination," STMEGI recalled.
The event was attended by such respected guests as the Chief Rabbis of Russia Berel Lazar and Adolf Shaevich, the president of the Russian Jewish Congress Yuri Kanner, Israeli Ambassador to Russia Zvi Heifetz, as well as prominent representatives of the business community and cultural figures.
The organizer of the original event was the International Charity Fund of Mountain Jews STMEGI, headed by the vice-president of the Russian Jewish Congress German Zaharyaev and Moscow yeshiva Shaarei Kedusha.
The program was unusual. The Hanukkah holiday consisted of competitions and performances in the endangered language of Dzhuuri, a dialect of ancient Persian and Hebrew, which is under the UNESCO protection. A youth theater troupe performed and a dance contest took place at the festival.
The role of the community of Mountain Jews in the development of the Jewish community in Russia is very high, the president of the Russian Jewish Congress Yuri Kanner underlined in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza. "Today every fourth part of the Russian Jewish Congress, every fourth largest sponsor is a Mountain Jew, not always a native of Azerbaijan. For example, a peasant by birth from Dagestan,’’ he said.
Kanner said that the contribution of Mountain Jews to the Russian Jewish community is significant not due to its number. It is a more traditional community than many other Jewish ones.
The President of the Russian Jewish Congress said that the presence of the two chief rabbis of Russia Berl Lazar and Adolf Shaevich at the festival reflects "respect for the entire community of Mountain Jews, as well as their role in the development of the Jewish community in Russia."
German Zaharyaev, the STMEGI fund manager, said in an interview with the VK correspondent that the Mountain Jews, and representatives of all religions existing in Russia, feel very comfortable, particularly thanks to President Vladimir Putin.