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Watch: Hanukkah candles lit in wealthy arab nation Bahrain’s capital city

Bahrain King gives visiting rabbi royal treatment, vows to fight terror and allow Jews to continue practicing Judaism ‘without fear.’

By Yoni Kempinski

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa held a meeting at his royal palace in the capital city of Manama this week, welcoming representatives of the various religions.

Representing the Jewish people was Rabbi Moshe Levin, director of the Conference of European Rabbis who was invited by Al Khalifa and was received with an exceptionally warm welcome.

The rabbi lit the Hanukkah candles at Manama’s synagogue on Monday night for the second night of the holiday, together with the roughly 50 Jewish congregants. Many Muslim neighbors came to witness the ceremony, as did representatives of the royal house and the parliament.

Rabbi Levin serves as a close adviser to the chief rabbi of France, and also serves as rabbi of the French National Gendarmerie. He arrived in Bahrain together with the French Imam Hassan Chalghoumi, who also took part in the candle lighting.

“The call to war against terror needs to come from the leaders of all the religions as one,” said the King of Bahrain while welcoming his guests.

“Here in Bahrain members of all the religions live with no fear, and we will continue to allow Jews to live peacefully and quietly, maintaining their lifestyle, their customs and the commandments of their religion without any fear.”

Rabbi Levin was seated next to the king as an open sign of recognition during the special interfaith meeting that was held, in which the various representatives called for a war against terrorism and for true peace between the nations. Only a few dozen Jews live in the gulf kingdom.

The rabbi told the king that the Jewish people are now celebrating the holiday of Hanukkah, which seeks to increase light in the world, and explained that in Judaism there is


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