A Menorah lighting ceremony was held in the Victorian Parliament House by the Shliach of Chabad of the Melbourne Central Business District (CBD).
In attendance were the Deputy Premier of Victoria Rob Hull and the leader of the opposition Ted Baillieu, as well as other ministers and members of parliament and leaders of the Melbourne Jewish community.
The celebration started with the speech by the master of Ceremony, Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant explaining the significance of the Pronouncement of the miracles taking place in Parliament demonstrating the freedom of religion prevailing in Australia in contrast to the suffering of the Jews throughout the generations while residing in other countries.
Rabbi Kluwgant then invited the chief emissary of the Chabad of the Melbourne Central Business District, Rabbi Chaim Herzog who at length explained the evolvement of the festival of Chanukah. Rabbi Herzog explained that this festival teaches us of the need to ensure that the light overshadows the darkness especially when the deeds of the terrorists may their memory be erased make the darkness so plain to see.
He then invited the Deputy Premier of Victoria to address the gathering, in his speech he praised the work of Rabbi Herzog and his assistants, who aid him in his work on behalf of Chabad, encouraging Melbourne Jewry and by that encouraging the entire population of Victoria.
The leader of the opposition Ted Baillieu was then invited to speak, he told the gathering that in relation to Parliament House, this house demonstrates that freedom and democracy arrived here 160 years ago, which like Chanukah demonstrates the victory of light over darkness, therefore it’s appropriate that it be celebrated in this building.
The main speaker for the night, Rabbi Yossel Gutnick, was then invited to address the gathering. He spoke of what the Rebbe told the then Israel UN Ambassador, now Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. The Rebbe told Mr. Netanyahu that the hall where he was working in the UN, was full of darkness and he should light a small candle to nullify the darkness on Chanukah the small candles nullify the darkness in the world.
Rabbi Gutnick also thanked Rabbi Herzog for the success of his wonderful work in the Central Business District where he is the only emissary in the business district and succeeds better than other emissaries in other places.
They then lit the Chanukiah and Chazzan Shimon Wallas entertained the guests with songs. The evening concluded with a cocktail party.