• The rusted hanukkiah in the synagogue in Mariupol.
    The rusted hanukkiah in the synagogue in Mariupol.
    Photo: Christians for Israel

A sign of hope during Hanukkah

Frank van Oordt - 22 December 2022

Last year, Rabbi Mendel Cohen’s Jewish community in Mariupol (Ukraine) celebrated Hanukkah in their synagogue. Each day, a light was added as a sign that God is with His people. The feast was celebrated, and war was not thought of.

It was the last Jewish feast celebrated in the synagogue before the war broke out in February. The violence of war has destroyed the synagogue, and the Jewish community from Mariupol fled or perished. Rabbi Mendel did his utmost to help the members of his community. You can watch an interview with him here

All this time, Andrej has been a great support to Rabbi Mendel in Mariupol. As a Christian, he has always cared about the Jewish community, especially this past year. Last Saturday, the day before Hanukkah, Andrej found the iron hanukkiah among the rubble of the synagogue. It was rusted but survived the destruction. Of course, he told Rabbi Mendel about it, and now, Andrej has Rabbi Mendel’s blessing to light a light every day. During these devastating times, there’s the light of Hanukkah in Mariupol. In the midst of the rubble, the light of hope burns. In His faithfulness, God will never abandon the works of His hands.

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