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At Hanukkah, Hungary’s Jewish community remembers that “if we are strong enough in our identity and certain enough in our faith, we can even win when we’re outnumbered,” the chief rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation (EMIH) said late on Sunday, the first day of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.

The message of Hanukkah is that “we can only preserve and celebrate our values and identity if we live them through our actions,” Slomó Köves said, lighting the first candle for the eight-day holiday in Budapest’s Nyugati Square.

Rabbi Slomó Köves. Photo by Attila Kovács/MTI

Budapest Deputy Mayor Kata Tüttő said the capital was proud of its diversity and the strength it represents. “Let the flames of Hanukkah demonstrate Budapest’s acceptance and solidarity and that it is the city of knowledge and freedom,” she added.

The celebration of Hanukkah — the Festival of Light — goes back to the Jewish retaking of the Temple of Jerusalem from the Greeks in 165 BC.

In the featured photo: rabbi Menachem Myers. Photo by Attila Kovács/MTI