Melburnians from diverse cultures will come together to share the light and focus on what unites this great city.

Pillars of Light with the support of LiveNation will present a range of diverse and Indigenous artists on Federation Square’s main stage each evening.

Rabbi Gabi Kaltman, from the ARK Centre and Director of Pillars of Light said the “the light is symbol of love and multiculturalism.”

“A conflict between Maccabees and Hellene Seleucids, actually brought our two communities closer together over the last 2,000 years.
“This year’s Pillar of Light is about sharing of light, hope and emerging out of darkness; something that is so necessary and meaningful after a very challenging year.”

Hannukah is the celebration of the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid empire in Syria. Emperor Antiochus Epiphanes had defiled the Jerusalem Temple by installing Zeus in it.

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Hannukah, meaning “dedication” in Hebrew, is commemorated with the lighting of a candle in the Menorah each day encamped in Jerusalem’s Temple. The Maccabees rededicated the Temple by relighting the menorah, whose source of fuel was olive oil. They found a single jar of undefiled oil, enough to last a single day. Legend has it that the small vial of olive oil lit the Menorah for eight days.

Fotis Kapetopoulos from Neos Kosmos has been invited to emcee Pillars of Light on Friday 3 December.

Young people partying in Pillars of Light, 2020.

“There is a saying, ‘never give over your business to the idiot son,’ Antiochus – unlike his father the wiser and accepting King Antiochus III the Great – went against Hellenic principles of tolerance and openness,” he said.

“Many modern scholars such as Martin Goodman argue Hannukah was also a civil war between the traditionalist Jews and Hellenised Jews in Jerusalem.”

Greeks were the only non-Jews to actively participate in the Synagogue which means the house of assembly in Greek. The Hellenised Jews that fled to Greece represent the oldest Jewish community in Greece.

READ MORE: Jewish community of Melbourne celebrates Hannukah at Federation Square

Greek was used to transcribe the Torah and ensure its survival as the Pentateuch. And a many Judeo-Hellenic philosophers such as Philo, melded Judaic and Greek thought.

Linda Dessau AC, the Governor of Victoria, and the Lord Mayor Cr Sally Capp will launch the eight-day program. Each evening will feature speakers, performances, cultural moments, and guest appearances that explore inclusivity, harmony, youth, diversity, and reconciliation.

Pillars of Light hopes to create a sense of connection and belonging.