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November 25, 2021 1:59 pm
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National Library of Israel Series Unearths Rare Hanukkah Artifacts in Eight Languages

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Inside the National Library of Israel. Photo: © Herzog & de Meuron; Mann-Shinar Architects, Executive Architect

To mark the eight days of Hanukkah, the National Library of Israel has released eight clips in eight different languages, with each featuring a rare artifact related to the Jewish holiday.

The artifacts are from the National Library’s vast collections and some of the items in the videos are appearing publicly for the first time ever.

Each clip has English subtitles and is about 2-3 minutes long. They are presented in Spanish, Italian, Polish, Hebrew, German, French, Russian and English. All the videos are already uploaded onto the National Library’s website but on each day of Hanukkah, a new clip will go up on its Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Hebrew clip showcases a recording of legendary Moroccan-Israeli performer Jo Amar singing traditional Hanukkah blessings at the official candle lighting ceremony hosted by Israel’s president in 1957.

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Other items highlighted in the films include a rare printing of a Medieval French text that features what is believed to be the oldest written mention of latkes; a Hanukkah booklet prepared for Jewish German soldiers during World War I; an 18th-century “Book of Antiochus” manuscript from the Bukharian Jewish community; a rare booklet of Ladino Hanukkah verses printed around 1828 during the Ottoman Empire; a Hanukkah recipe printed in Polish and Yiddish in Warsaw right before the Holocaust; and late 19th-century Hanukkah flyers from Italy and India.

The eight videos were produced as part of of the National Library’s “A Look at the Jewish Year” series, which provides information about the Jewish calendar and holidays while giving a look at the National Library of Israel’s world-leading collection of Jewish manuscripts, books, printed materials and more.

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