Governor Abbott addresses recent increase in anti-Semitic acts in Austin at Hanukkah lighting ceremony on Capitol Hill


Texas Governor Greg Abbott addressed the recent spike in anti-Semitic acts in Austin and participated in the lighting of the ninth candle as part of a Hanukkah celebration on Sunday afternoon. (Photo KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – On Sunday evening, Texas Governor Greg Abbott will light the ninth candle in a Chanukah celebration.

In the Jewish faith, Hanukkah is an eight-day “festival of lights” that commemorates the consecration of the Second Temple in Jerusalem each year in 160 BC. CNN explains. The consecration symbolized that Jews in the region could worship again after Judaism was banned by King Antiochus IV.

Contrary to popular belief, Hanukkah is not the Jewish version of Christmas, although it does include some items like candy (chocolate gold coins) and games (four-sided rotating toys called dreidels).

Abbott will light the shamash, or “servant candle,” the ninth candle used to light other candles added on other days.

The event will take place at 4:15 p.m. on the South Lawn of the Texas State Capitol in downtown Austin. This year’s celebration began on November 28 and ends Monday evening. This year’s festivities come amid a recent local spike in anti-Semitic acts, including hate speech banners draped over Austin’s freeways.

“Anti-Semitism is therefore not something new to the Jewish community, it has been around for centuries,” Marvin Hecker, president of the Brotherhood Group at Congregation Beth Israel, told KXAN. “The celebration of Hanukkah aims to overcome anti-Semitism. “

The lighting will be broadcast live in this story, at, on the official KXAN News Facebook page and in the KXAN News app.